Ventricular Septal Defect

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Ventricular Septal Defect
Ventricular Septal Defect

Ventricular septal defect (VSD) is a heart disorder characterized by a gap or hole between the two chambers of the heart. Under normal conditions, there should be no holes or gaps

Ventricular septal defect or ventricular septal defect is a type of congenital heart disease. This condition can occur as early as 8 weeks of gestation, which is when the process of forming the fetal heart takes place.


At the beginning of the formation of the heart, the left and right ventricles of the heart are still fused, but as the fetus grows, a dividing wall (septum) between the two chambers will form. However, in some conditions, the septum is not fully formed, leaving a hole.

A ventricular septal defect causes the left ventricle of the heart to work harder, causing valve disorders and heart failure.

Causes of Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD)

A ventricular septal defect (VSD) is caused by a disturbance in the process of forming the heart in the womb. This disorder causes the dividing wall between the right and left ventricles of the heart does not close completely.

It is not yet known for certain what triggers the disturbance. However, genetic and environmental factors are thought to be the main factors that cause a person to suffer from this condition.

Although rare, ventricular septal defect is also a risk for adults. This condition can occur in people who have had a heart attack or who have suffered a severe injury to the chest, such as an accident.

There are several factors that can increase a person's risk of developing VSD, including:

  • Has a family history of congenital heart disease
  • Suffer from genetic disorders, such as Down Syndrome

Symptoms of Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD)

VSD symptoms vary, depending on the size and location of the gap in the heart, and the presence or absence of other underlying heart defects. This symptom is often difficult to detect when the baby is born, especially if the hole is small.

In some cases, this disorder sometimes shows no symptoms at all and only appears after the baby begins to enter childhood.

In general, the symptoms of VSD in infants and children include:

  • Easy to get tired when eating or playing
  • Sweat a lot, especially when eating
  • No appetite
  • It's hard to gain weight
  • Breathing is fast and sounds heavy
  • Skin looks pale

When to see a doctor

Immediately check with your child to the pediatrician if symptoms of VSD appear as above, especially if they cause the following dangerous symptoms:

  • Frequently have respiratory infections
  • Shortness of breath
  • Skin looks blue around the lips and nails

If you experience symptoms such as short and heavy breathing when doing activities or lying down, fast and irregular heartbeat, and often feeling tired and feeling weak, immediately consult a doctor.

Diagnosis of Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD)

Pediatricians can diagnose ventricular septal defects after the baby is born. The doctor will use a stethoscope to detect heart murmurs.

If you hear a heart murmur, the doctor will perform a follow-up examination which includes:

  • Cardiac echo, to determine the size, location, and severity of the VSD, as well as the presence or absence of other heart defects, such as tetralogy of Fallot
  • Chest X-ray, to check the condition of the heart and lungs
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG), to record and check the electrical activity of the heart
  • Cardiac catheterization, to check the condition of the heart directly from the inside
  • MRI, to detect the possibility of other heart defects

Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD) Treatment

In the vast majority of cases, babies born with small VSDs do not require surgery to close the hole. The doctor will only monitor the baby's condition and possible symptoms through regular checkups, and wait to see if the hole can close by itself.

If the ventricular septal defect is moderate to large and causes symptoms, then surgery is the best way to treat this condition. The operation is performed in the first few weeks or months after the baby is born.

The following are some of the methods of operation that can be performed to resolve VSD:

Open heart surgery

This surgical procedure is performed by opening the chest cavity through an incision, then sewing the hole or slit in the heart. During the surgical and suturing process, the work of the heart and lungs will be temporarily stopped, and replaced by a machine called a heart-lung machine.

Caterization procedure

In a cardiac catheterization procedure, the doctor will insert a thin tube or catheter into a blood vessel through the groin, and then it will be directed to the heart. Next, the cardiologist will use a special net to close the hole.

hybrid procedure

In this procedure, a combination of open surgery and catheterization, the doctor will insert a catheter through a small incision in the chest and then guide it to the heart. This procedure is done without having to stop the work of the heart temporarily.


In addition to surgery, drug therapy is also carried out to help the heart function better. Some of the types of drugs given are:

  • Diuretics, such as furosemide, to reduce excess fluid in the body so that the work of the heart becomes lighter
  • Beta blockers, such as metoprolol, to increase the strength of the heart muscle in pumping blood
  • ACE inhibitors, such as lisinopril and ramipril, to lower blood pressure so that the work of the heart becomes lighter.

Complications of Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD)

Minor ventricular septal defects will not cause complications. However, this condition can be dangerous and even lead to death if the hole between the chambers of the heart is medium to large.

If not treated immediately, VSD can lead to complications, such as:

  • Heart failure
  • heart valve disease
  • pulmonary hypertension
  • Endocarditis

Prevention of Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD)

Ventricular septal defect (VSD) is difficult to prevent, because it generally occurs due to congenital factors. However, the risk of VSD can be lowered by living a he althy lifestyle during pregnancy, so that the he alth and development of the fetus is maintained.

Efforts that can be made include:

  • Doing regular pregnancy checkups
  • Live a balanced diet by eating nutritious and nutritious food
  • Exercise regularly
  • No smoking
  • Restricting consumption of alcoholic beverages
  • Do not use drugs
  • Prevent infection by vaccinating before planning a pregnancy

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