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Atrial Septal Defect

Overview

Atrial septal defect is a kind of congenital heart defect. In the condition, abnormal opening takes place that results in separating upper heart chambers, also known as atria. The condition shows no complications and can be treated successfully. The condition can affect children as well as adults. However, an undeniable fact is the condition is more common in girls as compared to boys. The condition is not very common


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Causes

In the heart, there are four chambers-two lower chambers are known as ventricles and upper chambers are known as atria. In the healthy heart, blood passes to right ventricle and then to lungs for receiving oxygen. The blood that is filled with oxygen returns to left atrium and after that to left ventricle. After that, blood is pumped out of the body through aorta. In this process, both the chambers are separated by thin shared wall, causing the condition of atrial septum.


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Signs & Symptoms

The symptoms are not experienced if condition is not severe. Some symptoms that may occur are:

  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Shortness of breath while performing activity
  • Palpitations in adults
  • Respiratory infections at frequent intervals in children
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Prevention

Although, there is no prevention of the condition, early detection may help in reducing complications. 


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Treatments
Surgery Modern Medicine

If the condition is showing no symptoms, no treatment is required. If the defect is large, surgical measures are taken. Recently, a procedure has developed that involves treating the atrial septal defect without surgery. In the procedure, ASD closure device is placed into the heart through catheters, tubes. However, only drawback with this procedure is that procedure cannot be performed in all patients. For reducing the risk of infective endocarditis straight away after the surgery, prophylactic antibiotics are given.

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