In this section
A large defect involving both the atrial (ASD) and the
ventricular (VSD) septums allows blood to pass freely between the
two ventricles and the atriums. The valve apparatus at the junction
between atriums and ventricles is "shared" - there being
effectively only one valve instead of the normal two. Blood flow
and pressure in the lung circulation is substantially increased.
This often results in early onset of symptoms with breathlessness,
poor feeding and slow weight gain. This defect is very common in
babies with Down syndrome.
This is a more severe form of a "Primum" ASD ("Partial AV septal
Repair of this type of defect is usually performed in the first
3 to 6 months of life. It involves surgery, as these defects cannot
be closed by a Catheter Procedure. Two patches are usually
sewn in to close the ASD and the VSD. The shared valve is divided
into two separate valves, one for each ventricle.
The valves (especially the Mitral Valve) may continue to leak
after surgery, but in most cases this does not require further
surgery during childhood.