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Hole in the heart: Lets understand  the Condition

VSD in Children: Lets understand  the Condition


Congenital heart defects are among the most common types of birth defects, affecting nearly 1 in 100 newborns worldwide. 

Among these defects, ventricular septal defect (VSD) is the most common type of congenital heart disease.



What is VSD?

VSD is a congenital heart defect that affects the septum, which is the wall between the two lower chambers (ventricles) of the heart. 


In VSD, there is a hole in the septum that allows the blood to flow from the left ventricle to the right ventricle, instead of flowing to the body. 


This can cause various complications, depending on the size and location of the hole.

Causes of VSD

The exact cause of VSD is not known, but it is believed to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Some of the risk factors for VSD include:

  • Family history of congenital heart defects

  • Infections during pregnancy, such as rubella or cytomegalovirus

  • Exposure to certain medications or chemicals during pregnancy

  • Poor maternal nutrition or smoking during pregnancy

Symptoms of VSD

The symptoms of VSD can vary depending on the size and location of the hole, as well as the age of the child. Some of the common symptoms of VSD include:

  • Rapid breathing or shortness of breath

  • Poor feeding or slow weight gain

  • Sweating during feeding

  • Fatigue or irritability

  • Cyanosis, which is a bluish tint to the skin, lips, or nails

Diagnosis of VSD

VSD can be diagnosed during pregnancy with a fetal echocardiogram, or after birth in newborns  with a physical exam, chest X-ray, and 2D Echo.


Treatment for Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD)

  • Depends on the size and symptoms of the defect.

  • Small VSDs usually don't cause symptoms and may close on their own without specific treatment.

  • Regular check-ups are needed for children with medium or large VSDs to ensure heart health and identify any changes.


  • Medications can help the heart, while proper nutrition is essential for babies with medium or large VSDs.



  • If the VSD doesn't close or become smaller by the time the child is 6 to 12 months old, surgery or transcatheter closure may be necessary.


  • Surgery to patch the hole is the most common treatment for VSDs.



  • Transcatheter closure involves placing a thin tube into a blood vessel, moving it through to the heart and inserting a small device to close the hole.


  • Parents should consult a pediatric cardiologist if their child is diagnosed with VSD



Dr. Utkarsh Anand(Pediatric Cardiologist) 

Little Heart and Tiny Tummies Child Clinic

242,Patliputra Colony

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