Atrial septal defect (ASD) is a common type of congenital heart defect, occurring in approximately 25% of all children1.
An ASD is a small opening between the Right and Left Atria, allowing oxygenated blood to enter the right atria via the small opening in the septum. ASD may be present in as many as 1.6 per 1000 live births and are frequently associated in patients with down syndrome, turner syndrome and maternal exposure to illicit drugs such as cocaine, alcohol.
There are several subtypes of ASD:
Many ASD’s less than 5 mm in size may close naturally during the first year of life and not require any intervention. ASD’s > 1 cm may require surgical/medical intervention to correct the abnormality3.
There are many considerations to treatment, type/ size of ASD and the presence of symptoms influence when (or if) treatment is instigated. These considerations will determine whether closure treatment is performed using:
This very common congenital heart defect is most frequently detected in early childhood, however, can be picked up throughout the entire lifetime. Dr Yishay Orr, Cardiothoracic Surgeon, explains how these abnormalities might present in various age groups, discussing the diagnosis and work up process, and treatment options.