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Ventricular Septal Defect

Ventricular Septal Defect Causes

It is often attributed to the higher systolic pressure of the left ventricle which causes leakage of blood into the right ventricle elevating its pressure and volume which in turn cause pulmonary hypertension, an associated symptom of the VSD.

Ventricular Septal Defect Definition

Ventricular septal defect or VSD for brevity is a defect in the wall dividing the left and right ventricles of the heart called the ventricular septum which consists of an inferior muscular and superior membranous portion which is close to the atrioventricular node, It is the most common congenital heart defects in adults and older children (Hoffman JI, Kaplan S. (2002) The Incidence of congenital heart disease, p 39).

Ventricular Septal Defect Diagnosis

Ventricular septal defect or VSD is usually detected by cardiac auscultation which is generally considered sufficient for detecting a significant VSD.

Ventricular Septal Defect Symptoms and Signs

Most infants with VSD are asymptomatic until pulmonary vascular resistance begins to fall at approximately 4- 25 weeks of age. At this point, the infant normally breathes more rapidly and show signs of cyanosis, feeds poorly and is diaphoretic (Porth, Carol (2006) Essential of Pathophysiology: Concepts of Altered Health States, Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, p. 413).

Ventricular Septal Defect Treatment

Treatment depends on the extent of the opening due to the VSD. Small congenital VSD often close on its own as the heart grows. On the other hand in cases requiring surgical intervention, a heart-lung machine is required and a median sternotomy is performed. Percutaneous endovascular procedure which is less invasive is also used. Administration of Digoxin and Frusemide are also used to treat VSD.

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