A ventricular septal defect is a hole in the wall (septum) separating the lower chambers of the heart (right and left ventricles). It is one of the most common congenital (present at birth) heart defects. With this condition, blood leaks back from the left side of the heart to the right, instead of going to the rest of the body. If there is a lot of leaking, the heart will try to compensate by getting larger. This can cause heart failure (weakened heart) and pulmonary hypertension (high pressure in the lungs). Most ventricular septal defects are discovered during childhood when a murmur (an extra heart sound) is heard during a physical examination.
Symptoms of ventricular septal defect (VSD)
Patients with ventricular septal defect may not have any symptoms. However, if the hole is large enough
- Symptoms may include shortness of breath, fast breathing, frequent respiratory infections
- Slow growth, paleness, and fast heart rate.
Children and adults who have a ventricular septal defect that is large or causing significant symptoms usually need surgery to close the defect.