The ventricular septal defect in adults. ventricular septal defect (VSD) is a congenital heart defect in the form of a hole in the separating wall (septum) between the right ventricle and the left ventricle of the heart.
In most cases, a ventricular septal defect appears at the bottom of the aortic valve.
This valve serves to control the flow of blood from the left ventricle to the main artery blood vessels in the body, namely the aorta.
The ventricular septal defect causes oxygen-rich blood to not be pumped throughout the body, but reenter the lungs.
Under normal conditions, blood is pumped from the right heart to the lungs to get oxygen and re-enter the left heart.
Then the left heart is in charge of pumping oxygen-rich blood throughout the body. The presence of a ventricular septal defect causes blood from the oxygen-rich left ventricle to mix with blood in the unoxygenated right ventricle.
This forces the heart, either the right or the left, to work harder.
What are the symptoms of a ventricle septal defect?
The ventricular septal defect is often not directly detected at birth, especially if the defect hole is small.
It could even have no symptoms until it reaches childhood.
Symptoms of ventricular septal defect vary, depending on the size of the defect hole and the presence or absence of other accompanying cardiac defects. Here are some symptoms of a ventricular septal defect commonly found in infants or children:
- Shortness of breath and easily tired.
- Loss of appetite.
- Weight gain is inhibited.
- Breath panting and sweating a lot when eating or crying.
- The skin is pale and maybe blue around the lips and nails.
- Frequent respiratory infections.
- Rapid and irregular heartbeat.
These symptoms will be very dangerous if ignored and can be fatal.
What are the symptoms of a ventricular septal defect in adults?
The ventricular septal defect in adults, symptoms of ventricular septal defect usually include:
- Breathlessness both during activity and while lying down,
- fast and irregular heartbeats,
- and often feel tired and weak.
The symptoms that appear are generally lighter so often ignored. However, if not addressed, complaints can become more severe.
What Causes a Septal Ventricular Defect?
The ventricular septal defect in adults is generally a congenital heart defect due to a disturbance in the fetal heart formation process, where the dividing wall between the right ventricle and the left ventricle of the heart does not close completely.
The cause of the disorder itself is still unclear. However, it is well known that adult ventricular septal defects are more common in Asians, in people with a history of congenital heart disease in the family.
How to Diagnose a Ventricle Septum Defect?
On the physical examination of the ventricular septal defect patient, the doctor will find a heart murmur (a heart sound that sounds like a whisper). Follow-up checks that will then be undertaken to confirm the diagnosis are:
- Pulse Oximeter. A portable device to measure oxygen levels in the blood by placing the sensor at the patient’s fingertips.
- Echocardiogram. This test is done to get a picture of the heart and its parts by using sound waves. The resulting image is in the form of a moving graph that is displayed on the tool screen.
- Cardiac catheterization. This method is done by inserting a thin elastic tube (catheter) through a blood vessel in the groin, neck or arm, to be directed toward the heart. In addition, some of the following checks can be done to see if complications have occurred:
- Chest x-ray. Imaging method with electromagnetic waves to see the condition of heart and lungs.
- Electrocardiogram This test is done by attaching the leads to the skin, to record the electrical activity of the heart.
How Is Ventricle Septum Defect Treatment?
When the defect hole is large the most appropriate way is by surgery.
Drugs may be given to treat symptoms before surgery can be performed, or until the patient’s condition allows for surgery.
The ventricular septal defect in a small adult, often the hole can close by itself. In such cases, medicines may also be provided to treat possible symptoms, while monitoring patient progress.
Some commonly performed surgical procedures are:
- Closure with a catheter. The whole closure of the septum is performed by cardiac catheterization, without surgery.
- Heart surgery. Conducted by opening the chest cavity and conducting a hole suture of the heart septum. During surgery, the work of the heart and lungs temporarily replaced by a machine called the heart-lung machine.
- Hybrid procedure. In the combined procedure, the incision is made only small to insert the catheter into the heart, without opening the chest cavity and without the need to stop the temporary heart work. Closure of a hole in the septum is then performed through a catheter. With a more minimal injury, the recovery period with this procedure is of course much faster than the surgical procedure.
Here are the drugs that can overcome the symptoms of ventricular septal defect
- Diuretics. This type of drug is used to reduce excess fluid from the body so that the work of the heart is lighter and the patient feels better.
- Vasodilator. It can reduce the pressure in the patient’s left coronary heart and make the heart rate more regular.
- Digoxin. Increases the power of the heart muscle to pump blood.