Heart Problems /

Atrial Septal Defect or ASD

01 In Brief

Atrial septal defects or ASD is a common congenital heart problem in children. The commonest form is called secundum ASD and is a defect or hole in the central part of the wall (septum) separating the two upper pumping chambers (atria) of the heart. Many ASD's will close in the first 18 months however if they persist beyond the age of three years it is unlikely that they will close spontaneously. Although most children do not have any significant symptoms there are significant risks later in life and closure is desirable unless the defect is very small. Various techniques including an expanding device (which is inserted through a heart catheter) or closure by open heart surgery are used to treat a persisting ASD. 

02 What Others Say

  • Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne fact sheet on ASD and includes information about the various devices that are used to close and ASD

 Atrial septal defect and information on device closure

  • Cincinnati Children's Hospital heart Institute fact sheet

Atrial septal defect

  • Children's heart Federation: a UK charitable organisation,Fact sheet has excellent diagrams and animations.

Atrial septal defect (ASD)

  • C.S Mott Children's Hospital

Patent Foramen Ovale

03 I Want To Know More

Detailed fact sheet from the Children's Hospital Boston

 Atrial septum defect

The information published here has been reviewed by Flourish Paediatrics and represents the available published literature at the time of review.
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Last updated: 18/01/2011