Some congenital heart defects allow blood to flow between the right and left chambers of the heart because an infant is born with an opening in the septal wall that separates the right and left sides of the heart.
Atrial septal defect (ASD). In this condition, there is an abnormal opening between the two upper chambers of the heart — the right and left atria — causing an abnormal blood flow through the heart. Some children or adults may have no symptoms and appear healthy. However, if the ASD is large, permitting a large amount of blood to pass through the right side, symptoms will be noted.
Ventricular septal defect (VSD). In this condition, a hole in the ventricular septum (a dividing wall between the two lower chambers of the heart – the right and left ventricles) occurs.
Because of this opening, blood from the left ventricle flows back into the right ventricle, due to higher pressure in the left ventricle. This causes an extra volume of blood to be pumped into the lungs by the right ventricle, which can create congestion in the lungs.
Ebstein's anomaly. In this defect, there is a downward displacement of the tricuspid valve (located between the upper and lower chambers on the right side of the heart) into the right bottom chamber of the heart (or right ventricle). It is usually associated with an atrial septal defect.
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