What is a septal defect?
A septal defect is a hole in the septum, which is the muscle wall that separates the heart's left and right chambers. A septal defect is sometimes called "a hole in the heart." Common defects include:
atrial septal defect
- hole in the part of the septum that separates the upper chambers of the heart (atria)
ventricular septal defect
- hole in the part of the septum that separates the lower chambers of the heart (ventricles)
atrioventricular canal defect
- hole in the center of the heart where the wall between the upper and lower chambers meet