Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD)
Ventricular septal defect is an abnormal hole in the septum that separates the two bottom chambers of the heart called ventricles.
Like Atrial septal defect (ASD), there are no evident reasons to say why a ventricular septal defect develops. Genetics and Chromosomal abnormalities are associated with the defect.
A ventricular septal defect allows oxygenated blood from the left ventricle to flow across to the right ventricle. VSDs can be of different sizes. Small VSDs may close on their own and usually does not cause major problems. A membranous VSD is found in the upper portion of the interventricular septum. A muscular VSD is found in the lower part of the septum. These are the kinds that can close at any time during childhood. Medium and large sized VSDs are unlikely to close spontaneously. Surgery or other interventional procedures may be required to close these defects. Inlet and Outlet VSDs are less common types and are present where the blood enters or leaves the ventricles.
Some of the infants may show poor weight gain, shortness of breath or even bluish discoloration of the lips, nails or skin. Most of the small VSDs may go unnoticed. A murmur can be heard with a stethoscope when the baby is a few weeks old.
Untreated moderate to large VSDs may lead to severe complications in a child. Heart failure may result from the constant overload of the right ventricles. Arrhythmias and Pulmonary hypertension can also be an outcome of the high volume of blood flowing through the right ventricle. It is rare that these defects can go unnoticed and so complications are rather rare.