Ventral Septal Defect (VSD) Birth Defect

Ventral Septal Defect (VSD) Birth Defect

A ventricular septal defect or Ventral Septal Defect (VSD) is a defect in the ventricular septum, the wall dividing the left and right ventricles of the heart. The ventricular septum consists of an inferior muscular and superior membranous portion and is extensively innervated with conducting cardiomyocytes. The membranous portion, which is close to the atrioventricular node, is most commonly affected in adults and older children in the United States. It is also the type that will most commonly require surgical intervention, comprising over 80% of cases. Membranous ventricular septal defects are more common than muscular ventricular septal defects, and are the most common congenital cardiac anomaly.

Ventral Septal Defect (VSD) Birth Defect Detection

A Ventral Septal Defect can be detected by cardiac auscultation. Classically, a Ventral Septal Defect causes a pathognomonic holo- or pansystolic murmur. Auscultation is generally considered sufficient for detecting a significant Ventral Septal Defect. The murmur depends on the abnormal flow of blood from the left ventricle, through the Ventral Septal Defect, to the right ventricle. If there is not much difference in pressure between the left and right ventricles, then the flow of blood through the Ventral Septal Defect will not be very great and the Ventral Septal Defect may be silent.

    This situation occurs :

  • a) in the fetus (when the right and left ventricular pressures are essentially equal),
  • b) for a short time after birth (before the right ventricular pressure has decreased),
  • c) as a late complication of unrepaired Ventral Septal Defect.
  • Confirmation of cardiac auscultation can be obtained by non-invasive cardiac ultrasound (echocardiography). To more accurately measure ventricular pressures, cardiac catheterization, can be performed.