Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
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Monroe Carell Jr.
Children's Hospital
at Vanderbilt
2200 Children's Way
Nashville, TN 37232


(615) 936-1000

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Atrial Septal Defect (ASD)

 

What is Atrial Septal Defect (ASD)?
A normal heart is separated into four chambers by walls called septums. ASD is a congenital defect where the heart has a hole in the septum separating the upper collecting chambers. This hole can allow pink blood from the left upper collecting chamber (left atrium) to enter the right upper collecting chamber (right atrium). The location of the hole in this wall can be called different names.  

Ostium Secundum Defects are located in the center of the wall and are the most common type of ASD.

Ostium Primum Defects are located in the lower part of the septum. This defect often occurs with the mitral valve being malformed or have a cleft in the valve.

Sinus Venosus Defects are located in the right upper collecting chamber (right atrium) where the great veins (vena cava) enter the atrium. This defect can be associated with inappropriate attachment of the pulmonary veins known as anomalous pulmonaryvenous connection.

How do we diagnose ASD?
Ultrasonography (echo, echocardiogram) is used to take an ultrasonic picture of the heart. Cardiac catheterization is usually not needed unless other associated defects. 

How do we treat ASD?
Small or moderate size ostium defects can be closed by devices delivered in the cardiac catheterization laboratory.  They can also be closed surgically by repair of the mitral valve or reattaching the pulmonary veins.


Last Edited: December 18, 2012
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