Diseases & Conditions


A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Ventricular Septal Defects


Synonyms of Ventricular Septal Defects
  • Congenital Ventricular Defects
  • Hole in the Heart
  • VSD

Disorder Subdivisions

  • Common Ventricle
  • Cor Triloculare Biatriatum
  • Eisenmenger Syndrome
  • Maladie de Roger
  • Roger Disease


General Discussion
Ventricular septal defects are heart defects that are present at birth (congenital). The normal heart has four chambers. The two upper chambers, known as atria, are separated from each other by a fibrous partition known as the atrial septum. The two lower chambers are known as ventricles and are separated from each other by the ventricular septum. Valves connect the atria (left and right) to their respective ventricles. The aorta, the main vessel of arterial circulation, carries blood from the left ventricle and away from the heart.

Ventricular septal defects can occur in any portion of the ventricular septum. The size and location of the defect determine the severity of the symptoms. Small ventricular septal defects can close on their own (spontaneously) or become less significant as the child matures and grows. Moderately-sized defects can cause congestive heart failure, which is characterized by an abnormally rapid rate of breathing (tachypnea), wheezing, unusually fast heartbeat (tachycardia), enlarged liver (hepatomegaly), and/or failure to thrive. Large ventricular septal defects can cause life-threatening complications during infancy. Persistent elevation of the pressure within the artery that carries blood away from the heart and to the lungs (pulmonary artery) can cause permanent damage to the lungs. The exact cause of ventricular septal defects is not fully understood.

Organizations related to Ventricular Septal Defects
  • Adult Congenital Heart Association
    6757 Greene Street
    Philadelphia PA 19119
    Phone #: 215-849-1260
    800 #: --
    e-mail: info@achaheart.org
    Home page: http://www.achaheart.org/
  • American Heart Association
    National Center
    Dallas TX 75231-4596
    Phone #: 214-373-6300
    800 #: 800-242-8721
    e-mail: inquire@heart.org
    Home page: http://www.americanheart.org
  • Congenital Heart Anomalies, Support, Education, & Resources
    2112 North Wilkins Road
    Swanton OH 43558
    Phone #: 419-825-5575
    800 #: --
    e-mail: chaser@compuserve.com
    Home page: http://www.csun.edu/~hcmth011/chaser/chaser-news.html
  • Congenital Heart Information Network
    1561 Clark Dr
    Yardley PA 19067
    Phone #: 215-493-3068
    800 #: --
    e-mail: mb@tchin.org
    Home page: http://www.tchin.org
  • Kids With Heart National Association for Children's Heart Disorders, Inc.
    1578 Careful Dr
    Green Bay WI 54304-2941
    Phone #: 920-498-0058
    800 #: 800-538-5390
    e-mail: kidswithheart@greenbaynet.com
    Home page: http://www.kidswithheart.org
  • Little Hearts, Inc.
    P.O. Box 171
    Cromwell CT 06416
    Phone #: 860-635-0006
    800 #: 866-435-4673
    e-mail: info@littlehearts.org
    Home page: http://www.littlehearts.org
  • MUMS (Mothers United for Moral Support, Inc) National Parent-to-Parent Network
    150 Custer Court
    Green Bay WI 54301-1243
    Phone #: 920-336-5333
    800 #: 877-336-5333
    e-mail: mums@netnet.net
    Home page: http://www.netnet.net/mums/
  • NIH/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute Information Center
    P.O. Box 30105
    Bethesda MD 20824-0105
    Phone #: 301-592-8573
    800 #: --
    e-mail: nhlbiinfo@rover.nhlbi.nih.gov
    Home page: N/A



For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc. ? (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be obtained for a small fee by visiting the NORD website. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational treatments (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, see http://www.rarediseases.org/search/rdblist.html