Pediatric Heart Expert Forum
ASD
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Questions in this forum are answered by pediatric cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons and anesthesiologists from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. This forum is for questions and support about pediatric heart problems, symptoms and topics such as heart murmurs, palpitations, fainting, chest pain, congenital heart defects (including management and intervention), fetal cardiology, adult congenital cardiology, arrhythmias and pre-participation athletic screening.

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ASD

we recently got to know that my sister aged 10 years has ASD. according to the echocardiogream report she has a 13mm defect. she has slight right atrial hypertrophy. her valves are otherwise normal and she is completely asymtomatic. what is the treatment for this. are their any complication?
773637_tn?1327450515
Dear Munazza,

Without evaluating your sister, I cannot say exactly what needs to be done for her.  However, a 13 mm atrial septal defect (ASD) is a large defect.  Although she may be without symptoms at this point, the fact that this defect remains open is a risk for the development of pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure across the lungs) as well as atrial arrhythmias.  Therefore, we recommend that defects of this size be closed.  The classic method of closing the defect is with open heart surgery, closing the defect by sewing in a patch.  However, newer technologies have allowed cardiologists to close the defect by placing a device in the hole by using a catheter placed through the vein in the leg and up into the heart.  The device plugs the hole and the catheter is removed.  There are several criteria for being able to have this done, so I recommend that this be done in an institution with plenty of experience doing this.  It is well tolerated and does not result in the need for a prolonged hospital stay or a surgical scar.
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Jeffrey R Boris, M.D.Blank
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
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