Pediatric Heart Expert Forum
VSD
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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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VSD

Hi

My daughter is 7 years old and has had a VSD since birth.  Over the past recent months she has complained of intermittent chest pain which does wake her from sleep.  The GP has given us medicine for stomach acid but made no difference.  We are now awaiting an appointment at the hospital.  Is it possible for the VSD to be causing this pain?  Can the defect get bigger as she grows?
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Since your daughter is 7 years old, then it is highly likely that your cardiologist has determined that her VSD is not large enough to require a surgical intervention.  Aside from size of a VSD, another complication that can lead to a surgical intervention is if a blockage develops in the right or left ventricles near the VSD, or if significant leakage of the aortic valve occurs.  The VSD will not grow in size over time. Chest pain is frequent in children.  It would not be associated with VSDs in the majority of circumstances.  The only possibility of cardiac chest pain with a VSD would be if severe blockage developed on the left side of the heart.  If you have regular followup with a cardiologist, this would already have been evaluated.  That pain would generally be associated with physical activity, not occurring at rest.  Your doctor was correct to think about reflux, as that can be associated with night time chest pain.  Feel free to call your cardiologist and review your child's symptoms with them.  They have the information about the details of her VSD and will be able to give you more accurate information.
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Jeffrey R Boris, M.D.Blank
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Philadelphia, PA
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