Ventricular Septal Defect
DefinitionA ventricular septal defect (VSD) is a defect in the wall called the septum that is between the heart's two lower chambers called the ventricles. A septal defect is often referred to as a hole in the heart.Normally, the right side of the heart receives oxygen-poor blood and pumps it to the lungs where it is filled with oxygen. The blood is then sent back to the left side of the heart, which pumps oxygen-rich blood to the rest of the body. But with VSD, the heart pumps inefficiently. The oxygen-rich blood is pumped back to the lungs.VSD can lead to enlargement of the heart and high blood pressure in the blood vessels of the lungs.
|Ventricular Septal Defect|
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CausesMost VSDs are a type of congenital heart defect, meaning they are present at birth. It is unclear why VSDs develop, but genetics may play a part. Although rare, some VSDs can occur after a heart attack or trauma.
Risk FactorsFactors that increase your chances of VSD include:
- Age: young infants and children
- Parent with a septal defect
- Genetic defects such as Down syndrome or other inherited disorders
- Use of alcohol , phenylhydantoin, or isotretinoin
- Rubella during the first trimester of pregnancy
- Maternal diabetes or phenylketonuria
SymptomsA small VSD may not cause symptoms Some VSDs may cause the following symptoms:
- Heart murmur
- Signs of heart failure during infancy
- Difficulty feeding
- Poor growth
- Fast breathing
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