Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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VSD Overview

Another name for VSD is Ventricular Septal Defect.

What is a ventricular septal defect?
A person with a ventricular septal defect has a hole in the ventricular septum, which separates the lower chambers of the heart, called the ventricles. Normally, the septum prevents blood from flowing from the left ventricle to the right ventricle. A ventricular septal defect allows blood to flow from the left ventricle to the right ventricle. This abnormal blood flow can damage the right ventricle and damage the lungs. The cause of a ventricular septal defect is congenital heart disease, which is abnormal development of the heart in the womb. A ventricular septal defect is present in about 3 out of 1000 people in the US.

What are the symptoms of a ventricular septal defect?
Symptoms of a ventricular septal defect in an adult may include chest pain, cough, palpitations, and faintness or shortness of breath during exertion. Symptoms of a ventricular septal defect in an infant may include shortness of breath while feeding, weight loss, and failure to thrive.

How does the doctor treat a ventricular septal defect?
In infants, about 50% of small ventricular septal defects close without treatment, as the hole in the septum gradually closes over time. Surgery may be required to close large ventricular septal defects.

Continue to VSD Incidence

Last Updated: Aug 23, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed VSD References
  1. Arora R, Trehan V, Thakur AK, Mehta V, Sengupta PP, Nigam M. Transcatheter closure of congenital muscular ventricular septal defect. J Interv Cardiol. 2004 Apr;17(2):109-15. [15104774]
  2. Demirag MK, Keceligil HT, Kolbakir F. Primary surgical repair of ventricular septal defect. Asian Cardiovasc Thorac Ann. 2003 Sep;11(3):213-6. [14514550]
  3. Lofland GK. Pulmonary atresia, ventricular septal defect, and multiple aorta pulmonary collateral arteries. Semin Thorac Cardiovasc Surg Pediatr Card Surg Annu. 2004;7:85-94. [15283357]
  4. Mukharji J, Sullivan L. Ventricular septal defect in the 9th decade. Mo Med. 2001 Sep;98(9):468-9. [11573315]
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