Top of the page
An atrial septal defect is an opening in the wall that separates the upper chambers of the heart. It is one of the most common congenital heart defects, which are structural problems that develop before a baby is born or at birth.
When an atrial septal defect is present, some oxygen-rich blood that should have been pumped to the body flows from one side of the heart to the other. This blood is then pumped to the lungs. This creates extra work for one side of the heart.
If an atrial septal defect is large, heart failure may occur, although this is not common in children. Many children have no symptoms. So this defect may not be found until a child is older or becomes an adult.
A heart catheterization can typically be used to close the opening. This prevents blood from flowing between chambers.
Current as of: December 16, 2019
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & John Pope MD - Pediatrics & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & Larry A. Latson MD - Pediatric Cardiology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2020 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Make an Appointment
Pay a Bill
For Medical Professionals
Graduate Medical Education
Nursing at WellSpan
Clinical Research Programs
Who We Are
Make a Donation
Connect With Us
Non-Discrimination Statement |
Aviso Contra la Discriminación
© WellSpan Health | Disclaimer & Policies