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Ventricular Septal Defect Moderate to Large (6862)

Ventricular Septal Defect Moderate to Large (6862) - Clinical Hub, Patient Education, Health and Nutrition Facts For You, Pediatrics, Parenting


Ventricular Septal Defect Moderate to Large

Normal Heart

The normal heart has four chambers. The
two top chambers receive blood from the
body and lungs. These chambers are called
the atria. The two bottom chambers pump
blood to the body and lungs. These are called
the ventricles. These chambers are separated
by walls known as the atrial septum and
ventricular septum.

Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD)

A ventricular septal defect is the most
common congenital heart defect. A
congenital defect means that it is present at
birth. This type of defect is a hole in the
wall (septum) between the right and left
ventricles. This hole allows blood to flow
across from the left side, where the pressure
is high, to the right side, where the pressure
is lower. This increased blood flow can
cause the left side of the heart to enlarge. It
can also cause too much blood flow to the

These defects may vary in size. They may
be present in many places in the ventricular
septum. Rarely, a person may have more
than one of these. Small defects rarely
cause problems and have a high chance of
closing on their own.

Signs and Symptoms

A murmur caused by the blood flowing
through the defect is often heard during a
routine exam. This will mean a referral to a
cardiologist for further testing. A healthy
person with a small VSD will most likely
have no symptoms. A moderate or large
VSD may cause
▪ Fatigue
▪ Sweating
▪ Rapid, heavy, or congested breathing
▪ Problems feeding
▪ Poor weight gain


A member of the health care team will do a
complete exam and a health history.

An ultrasound of the heart is called and
echocardiogram. It may be done to confirm
the presence of the defect. It is also done to
find the site and size of the defect.


An adult or child may need medicine to help
decrease the extra fluid going to the lungs
and a medicine to help decrease the work of
the heart.

An infant will have check-ups with their
regular doctor and also with pediatric
cardiology to assure that the medicines are
working and he or she is gaining weight

Sometimes moderate to large VSDs will
close up. Sometimes surgery may be needed
to close the VSD. The cardiology provider
will explain this to you.

Who Do I Call With Questions?

The doctor or nurse or our clinic staff can
answer any questions you may have.
Pediatric Cardiology (608) 263-6420
Adult Congenital Heart Disease
(608) 890-5700

Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 2/2017. University of Wisconsin Hospital
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#6862