An atrial septal defect (ASD) is a hole in the septum, which is the muscular wall that separates the heart’s two upper chambers. An ASD is a congenital heart defect that happens when the septum does not form properly.
If an ASD is larger than 2cm, patients have a greater risk of problems such as:
Many people have no idea they have an ASD because they do not have symptoms. Some patients find out about the defect when a chest X-ray for another problem shows that the right side of the heart is bigger than normal.
By age 50, an ASD can cause symptoms like:
Tests to check for an ASD include: