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Ventricular septal defect (VSD)

Comunicació interventricular (CIV) a Vall d'Hebron

It is a hole that may be found in any part of the partition dividing the ventricles, and may be one hole or multiple, and of varying sizes and shapes. VSD may be associated with more complex heart defects such as tetralogy of Fallot, transposition of the great arteries or atrioventricular canal.


What is ventricular septal defect (VSD)?

Small ventricular septal defects reduce in size over time and in many cases may close up by themselves, particularly during the first two years of a child’s life. The overall rate of spontaneous closure is 30-35% of cases.



In general, children with small VSD do not show any symptoms and So their eating habits, growth and development are all normal. This hole is detected via the presence of a murmur during the first weeks of life.

Children with a medium or large VSD develop symptoms in the first few weeks after being born. These may be:

  • Breathing becomes faster
  • Excessive sweating
  • Fatigue when feeding, meaning the infant does not take in enough food and hence shows negligible weight gain.


Who does ventricular septal defect affect?

VSD is one of the most common heart defects, if we do not include bicuspid aortic valve. It represents around 20% of all heart defects.



VSD is detected by an echocardiogram, which can confirm the number, size, location and functional repercussions.


Typical treatment

Babies with small VSD do not need surgical treatment.

Those with medium to large VSD who develop cardiac insufficiency, on the other hand, must undergo medical treatment. If symptoms persist, early corrective surgery will be carried out, which consists of closing the hole with a patch, or a device implanted by cardiac catheterization.

If there are no other defects associated with the VSD, surgical mortality is 0%. After the operation, patients can lead a normal life the same as the rest of the population.

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