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All about ventricular septal defect causes of ventricular septal defect symptoms of ventricular septal defect complications of ventricular septal defect diagnosis of ventricular septal defect treatment of ventricular septal defect

How is a ventricular septal defect diagnosed?

Ventricular septal defect can be detected by cardiac auscultation; they typically cause systolic murmurs. Confirmation of findings from cardiac auscultation can be obtained with cardiac ultrasound (less invasive) and cardiac catheterization (more invasive).

The heart can sometimes be seen or felt to be beating hard because of the extra work it is performing. Babies can be breathing fast or hard and have a fast heart rate.

An electrocardiogram can help determine the sizes of the chambers to see if there is strain on the heart due to the ventricular septal defect.

However, this can be normal at birth and change with time as congestive heart failure worsens. It can also suggest if there are other heart defects associated with the ventricular septal defect.

A chest X-ray can also help follow the progression of congestive heart failure by looking at the size of the heart and the amount of blood flow to the lungs. This may be normal at birth and change with time.

An echocardiogram may need to be performed for certain circumstances. If the diagnosis is unclear or if there is suspicion of associated anomalies, this test can help sort this out.

Most small ventricular septal defects will not require an echocardiogram as they tend to close, but often moderate or large ventricular septal defects will need to have at least one echocardiogram to provide the cardiologist a complete picture of the defect.

Although rare, in some children with ventricular septal defects a cardiac catheterization will need to be performed, particularly in the moderate-sized defects.

This can help the cardiologist determine more accurately how much blood flow is going out to the lungs. This can be very useful in determining the need for surgery in children who have had subtle signs of congestive heart failure but who do not have clear-cut evidence of the need for surgical repair.

More information on ventricular septal defect

What is a ventricular septal defect (VSD)? - A ventricular septal defect is an opening in the ventricular septum, or dividing wall between the two lower chambers of the heart known as the right and left ventricles.
What causes ventricular septal defect? - Ventricular septal defects occur when the partitioning process does not occur completely, leaving an opening in the ventricular septum.
What're the symptoms of ventricular septal defect? - The most common signs and symptoms are trouble eating and gaining weight, breathlessness and easy fatigability.
What're the complications of ventricular septal defect? - Ventricular septal defect can cause lung disease. Some ventricular septal defects are found in combination with other heart defects.
How is a ventricular septal defect diagnosed? - Ventricular septal defect can be detected by cardiac auscultation; they typically cause systolic murmurs.
What're the treatments for ventricular septal defect? - Treatment of ventricular septal defect is either surgical (open or percutaneous endovascular) or conservative.
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Ventricular septal defect (VSD)

All information is intended for reference only. Please consult your physician for accurate medical advices and treatment. Copyright 2005,, all rights reserved. Last update: July 18, 2005