Pediatric Heart Expert Forum
Toddler w ASD & pauses in heart beat?
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Toddler w ASD & pauses in heart beat?

My son is 20 months old and has had many health issues due to delay in myelination in his brain. He was also diagnosed with moderate Atrial Septal Defect when he was 6 weeks old. Last June he was discharged from the cardiologist who said the ASD was down to 2mm's and that it should close up the rest of the way by itself. He's always had apneas and on his last monitor download it shows his heart beating very irregular at times. It's having 2 and 3 second pauses causing his apnea monitor to go off. Of course I'm having to wait for a doctor to call back...so I'm wondering if anyone knows what might cause something like this? Could it be from his ASD even though he hasn't had this problem from it in the past? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
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773637_tn?1327450515
Dear Steph,

Without evaluating your son, I cannot say for sure what is going on with him, including any irregularities in his heart rate.  I can say that, assuming that he has only a 2 mm atrial septal defect (ASD), any heart rate issues are most likely not related to his ASD.  The defect is quite small, and has a good chance of spontaneous closure by age 3 to 5 years.  However, even if it remains open, it should not cause any long term heart problems.

The other issue is what is causing his heart rate irregularity.  If your primary care provider cannot give you the answers that you seek, it may be worthwhile seeing a pediatric cardiologist.
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Jeffrey R Boris, M.D.Blank
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
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