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Ventricular Septal Defect

Overview – Ventricular septal defect (VSD) is a hole in the wall that separates the right and left ventricles of the heart. It is one of the most common heart defects that is present from birth. It may occur by itself or along with other birth defects. Adults may develop it especially after serious heart attacks.

Causes/Risk Factors

The cause of VSD in babies is not yet known.


The most common symptoms of VSD include:

  •  Shortness of breath
  •  Fast breathing
  •  Hard breathing
  •  Paleness
  •  Failure to gain weight
  •  Fast heart rate
  •  Sweating while feeding
  •  Frequent respiratory infectionsIf the hole is very small, there will be no symptoms.


    Your doctor will examine your child and suspect VSD after listening to your baby’s heart with a stethoscope. Various tests like ECG, echo, blood tests and scans will be helpful.


    If the VSD is very small, no treatment may be needed. But treatment will be necessary symptoms develop. The options include:

  •  Use of drugs for relief
  •  Cardiac catheterisation
  •  Surgery

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