ventricular septal defect, VSD

As the name implies, a ventricular septal defect (VSD) is a congenital malformation of the heart in which a communicating channel exists between the two main pumping chambers of the heart (ventricles). Because the pressure on the lung side of the circulation is so much less that that on the systemic side, the pressure in the right (pulmonary) side of the heart is about one fifth the pressure of the left or systemic ventricle. For this reason, blood will squirt through the hole in the dividing wall between right and left sides and in so doing will probably cause enough turbulent blood flow to produce a heart murmur. The majority of simple VSD's heal themselves without requiring surgery. If surgery is required, the outlook is nowadays excellent for complete recovery. The VSD may however be only part of a larger scheme of malformation of the heart; for example, tetralogy of Fallot.

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