Ventricular Septal Defect, Animation

Ventricular Septal Defect, Animation

ventricular septal defect or VSD refers
to an opening in the interventricular septum that separates the two ventricles
of the heart in normal circulation oxygen poor blood from the body returns
to the right side of the heart where it is pumped into the pulmonary artery and
to the lungs after being oxygenated oxygen-rich blood from the lungs returns
to the left side of the heart to be pumped into the aorta and out to the
body a VSD allows abnormal blood flow between the two ventricles the net flow
of blood called a shunt is usually from left to right
due to significantly higher blood pressure in the left side of the heart
this is because the left side has to pump blood all over the body while the
right side only needs to send it to the lungs if the defect is small the shunt
is negligible and does not result in any symptoms a large defect on the other
hand may overload the right side of the heart causing it to fail heart failure
symptoms usually appear during the first few weeks of life and include fatigue
shortness of breath difficulty feeding and poor growth without treatment other
complications may also occur as the right ventricle continuously pumps more
blood to the lungs the entire pulmonary vasculature may be overloaded and
pulmonary hypertension may result to overcome the high pressure in the lungs
the right ventricle has to generate even higher pressure which eventually becomes
greater than that of the left ventricle this reverses the direction of the shunt
causing oxygen poor blood to flow from right to left and be sent to all tissues
of the body the resulting oxygen deprivation may be seen as bluish skin
color known as cyanosis a VSD can happen alone or in combination with other
congenital defects in conditions such as Down syndrome or tetralogy of Fallot the
cause is unknown but likely to involve both genetic
and environmental factors the turbulence of abnormal blood flow and VSD produces
heart murmurs which can be heard using a stethoscope diagnosis is confirmed by
echocardiography VSD is the most common congenital heart defect in infants but
the defect is small in most cases small defects usually close on their own in
early childhood and no treatment is needed large defects that produce
symptoms usually require surgical closure in the first year of life

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