Ventricular septal defects

Last reviewed: 23 Apr 2022
Last updated: 24 Sep 2020

Summary

Definition

History and exam

Key diagnostic factors

  • presence of risk factors
  • systolic murmur left parasternal region
  • failure to thrive
  • shortness of breath
More key diagnostic factors

Other diagnostic factors

  • recurrent pulmonary infections
  • loud pulmonary component of the second heart sound
  • cyanosis
  • finger clubbing
  • recent myocardial infarction (usually within 2-5 days)
  • recent trauma
Other diagnostic factors

Risk factors

  • family history of congenital heart disease
  • Down's syndrome (trisomy 21)
  • maternal alcohol consumption during pregnancy
More risk factors

Diagnostic investigations

1st investigations to order

  • echocardiography
  • chest x-ray
  • ECG
More 1st investigations to order

Investigations to consider

  • cardiac MRI
  • cardiac catheterisation
More investigations to consider

Emerging tests

  • cardiac CT scan

Treatment algorithm

ACUTE

congenital: small

congenital: medium or large

acquired

Contributors

Authors

Kul Aggarwal, MD, MRCP, FACC
Kul Aggarwal

Professor of Clinical Medicine

University of Missouri

Columbia

MO

Disclosures

KA declares that he has no competing interests.

Acknowledgements

Dr Kul Aggarwal would like to gratefully acknowledge Professor Zuhdi Lababidi, a previous contributor to this topic.

Disclosures

ZL declares that he has no competing interests.

Peer reviewers

Michael Cheung, BSc (Hons), MB ChB, MRCP, FRACP

Acting Head

Department of Cardiology

Royal Children's Hospital

Melbourne

Australia

Disclosures

MC declares that he has no competing interests.

Sachin Khambadkone, MD, DCH, DNB

Consultant Paediatric Cardiologist and Honorary Senior Lecturer

Great Ormond Street Hospital and Institute of Child Health

London

UK

Disclosures

SK declares that he has no competing interests.

Tain-Yen Hsia, MD

Attending Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgeon

Medical University of South Carolina Children's Hospital

Charleston

SC

Disclosures

TYH declares that he has no competing interests.

  • Ventricular septal defects images
  • Differentials

    • Atrial septal defect
    • Patent ductus arteriosus
    • Mitral regurgitation
    More Differentials
  • Guidelines

    • 2020 adult congenital heart disease
    • 2018 AHA/ACC guideline for the management of adults with congenital heart disease
    More Guidelines
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