Atrial Septal Defect (ASD)

Atrial Septal Defect
Body Parts: Chest
Medical Subjects: Children's Health Heart

What Is Atrial Septal Defect?

ASD is a common congenital cardiac developmental defect, accounting for 7%–13% of congenital heart diseases, and it may be combined with other cardiac malformations or may occur alone. Most of them were single-hole defects.

Most atrial septal defects do not cause significant symptoms, especially in infants and children. As you get older, you may have more and more serious symptoms, such as shortness of breath after exercise and atrial arrhythmias, in adulthood.

Some atrial septal defects spontaneously close, while those that cannot be autistic require surgical closure.

Are atrial septal defects common?

Atrial septal defect (ASD) is a common congenital heart disease, and the incidence rate is about 2/1000 according to the existing data.


What Is The Cause Of Atrial Septal Defect?

Atrial septal defect (ASD) is a congenital cardiac developmental defect associated with certain genetic variations.

Is atrial septal defect hereditary?

Atrial septal defects are not genetically related. The parents had a history of atrial septal defect and their offspring had no different odds of developing atrial septal defect from the general population.

Who are susceptible to atrial septal defect?

Most of them are sporadic, and the patients often have no family history of CHD, and there are more females than males. Alcohol abuse by mothers may increase the risk of disease in later generations.

As most patients in childhood have no obvious symptoms, and as people get older, the symptoms become obvious and increase gradually, so adult patients are more common.


What Is The Symptoms Of Atrial Septal Defect?

What is the manifestation of atrial septal defect?

Most patients have no obvious symptoms, but some large defects can cause symptoms. And as you get older, the symptoms become more obvious and increase.

  • In infancy, symptoms are less common and can include repeated pulmonary infections, slower body weight gain, and so on
  • In adults, it is usually manifested as poor motor ability (dyspnea and fatigue), atrial arrhythmia, palpitations, syncope, fatigue, dyspnea, etc.

What are the complications of atrial septal defect?

Atrial arrhythmia, abnormal embolism, pulmonary hypertension and right heart failure.

Does atrial septal defect affect pregnancy?

The specific situation of pregnant women with atrial septal defect is different, and accordingly, the degree of influence is different.

Although the cardiac load during pregnancy may be increased, young pregnant women with simple defects can tolerate pregnancy, even multiple pregnancies, without significant adverse effects. When there is a combined history of certain arrhythmias or heart failure, the risk of pregnancy increases and requires close observation.

Special venous embolisms and abnormal blood shunts during childbirth occur more frequently than in the general population.

Pregnancy should be avoided if there is a combined high risk of maternal and fetal death with significant pulmonary vascular disease.


How To Check Atrial Septal Defect?

What examinations may be needed for a suspicious person with atrial septal defect?

In addition to the physical examination, which can reveal abnormal signs, electrocardiograms, chest radiographs, and echocardiography are required to confirm the diagnosis, evaluate the cardiac function, and determine whether there is any concomitant other cardiac malformations.

What diseases are easily confused with atrial septal defect?

Physical examination and echocardiography of a simple atrial septal defect are both typical and easy to diagnose without requiring special differentiation.


How To Prevent Atrial Septal Defect?

Does the general population need to prevent atrial septal defect?

This is a congenital heart development defects, also has a good therapeutic effect, ordinary people do not need special prevention. Persistence of pregnancy tests can lead to early detection of possible fetal abnormalities.


How To Treat Atrial Septal Defect?

Which department should you visit for atrial septal defect?

Cardiology or cardiology.

Will the atrial septal defect heal itself or close on its own?

There is a possibility of spontaneous closure of that atrial septal defect. Follow-up observation or active occlusion treatment should be decided according to the specific situation.

  • Most simple small (diameter < 6 mm) atrial septal defects spontaneously close before the age of 2 years, and in some patients closure may be delayed until the age of 5 years. Therefore, early closure of these defects is not necessary in the absence of related symptoms.
  • If the patient is asymptomatic, medium-sized (6 to 8 mm in diameter) and large-sized (diameter ﹥ 8 mm) simple atrial septal defects are not recommended for closure before the age of 2 years because, although their spontaneous closure is unlikely, it is possible.
  • The defect may also gradually expand.

How to treat atrial septal defect?

At present, there are treatments including percutaneous catheter intervention and thoracotomy closure.

All patients who receive a percutaneous closure device should be given antiplatelet therapy (aspirin and clopidogrel) for at least 6 months to prevent thrombosis.

What age is better for surgical closure of atrial septal defect?

The timing of surgery is determined by the severity of the condition, not by age.

At present, pediatric anesthesia is relatively mature, and even in the neonatal period, surgical treatment can be performed if the condition is serious. Small (diameter < 6 mm) atrial septal defects can be observed at 2 years of age and asymptomatic at 5 years of age.

For patients with moderate or severe defects and symptoms (including children and adults), the timing of surgery should be determined according to the specific condition (blood shunt and cardiac load).

What needs to be checked to evaluate the treatment effect of patients with atrial septal defect after occlusion treatment?

After surgical or percutaneous intervention to close the defect, an echocardiogram should be examined to assess the extent of repair and to record changes in relevant indicators (e.g., expected pulmonary artery pressure drop, right atrial and right ventricular size reduction, etc.) to exclude postoperative pericardial effusion/tamponade.

Do patients with atrial septal defect need long-term follow-up?

Long-term follow-up is required for concomitant other heart conditions, pre-or post-operative atrial arrhythmias, pre-operative pulmonary hypertension, or repair of defects in adulthood.

Can atrial septal defect be completely cured?

It could be cured. After spontaneous closure and surgery success, just like normal people.

The doctor will check accordingly after the operation to evaluate whether the operation is successful or not. If it is only a simple atrial septal defect without complications or other congenital heart diseases, the operation is successful and the patient is cured. If the condition is complicated, the doctor will make corresponding observation and follow-up treatment.

Can atrial septal defect cause death?

Atrial septal defect may cause death. Death may occur when other heart diseases are combined and serious complications occur, such as heart failure and severe pulmonary hypertension. The results of intervention and treatment are now relatively good, and the death situation of patients has been significantly improved.


What Should Patients With Atrial Septal Defect Pay Attention To In Life?

Can patients with atrial septal defect exercise normally?

Patients without obvious abnormalities of cardiac function can move normally.

Patients under observation require regular follow-up to assess cardiac function. Patients after treatment also need relevant examinations. If the evaluation results show that the heart function is normal, you can move like ordinary people, and there is no limit in life. There is also a group of patients with atrial septal defect participating in competitive sports internationally.

Can patients with atrial septal defect go on altitude trips or diving?

Patients with atrial septal defects may have an increased risk of complications when exposed to low atmospheric pressure (such as diving) or high atmospheric pressure (such as altitude travel) and are not recommended for these activities.

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