Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD)
What is ventricular septal defect?
Ventricular septal defect is a congenital defect in which there is a hole in the wall between the two lower chambers of the heart, known as the right and left ventricles.
In patients with VSD, oxygen-rich (red) blood passes from the left ventricle through the opening in the septum, and mixes with oxygen-poor (blue) blood in the right ventricle. This can place a great deal of pressure on the lungs.
- if left untreated, can cause pulmonary hypertension, which can in turn lead to lung disease
- can also lead to a serious illness called bacterial endocarditis
What causes VSD?
Most VSD occurs by chance, with no clear reason for its development.
During the first 8 weeks of fetal development, your baby’s heart begins as a hollow tube. It then develop partitions that become the septa (or walls) dividing the right side of the heart from the left. Ventricular septal defects occur when the partitioning process does not occur completely, leaving an opening in the ventricular septum.
What are some symptoms of a ventricular septal defect?
The size of the ventricular septal opening will affect the type of symptoms, severity of symptoms and the age at which they first occur.
Symptoms often occur in infancy and may include:
- rapid breathing
- heavy breathing
- congested breathing
- disinterest in feeding, or tiring while feeding
- poor weight gain