David Meyer MD talks about Ventricular Septal Defect (or VSD).
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Male Speaker: What's a VSD? Male Speaker: VSD stands for Ventricular Septal Defect. It is the commonest in general heart disease and it is a hole between the two pumping chambers of the heart. The heart has basically two sides to it. One side that pumps blood to the lungs and one side that pumps blood to the body and there is a wall between those two sides, that's called the ventricular septum and a hole in that wall is Ventricular Septal Defect. Male Speaker: A very loud murmur, that is VSD, does it always mean, it's a really large hole? Male Speaker: In fact quite the opposite, the largest holes frequently have the softest murmurs. So, the loudness of the murmur does not necessarily correlate to the size of the hole and in fact a loud murmur can be a very small hole. Male Speaker: And all murmurs aren't VSDs? Male Speaker: Definitely all murmurs are not VSDs. Male Speaker: There is a condition, which is called the single ventricle? What the difference between a single ventricle and a large VSD? Male Speaker: Well, many patient are born with hearts that don't have the typical architecture with regard to the chambers. While most patients will have hearts that have one side or one ventricle that's dedicated to pumping blood to the lungs and another one that's separate, that pumps blood to the body. In some patients the ventricles don't from properly and only one ventricle might actually exist whereas the other one is either empty of closed or obstructed and in those patients, that one ventricle is responsible for pumping the blood both to the lungs and the body. Male Speaker: Small VSDs, so sometimes they close on their own? Male Speaker: Most definitely. Very large percentage, probably up to about half of Ventricular Septal Defects will close on their own. Male Speaker: Which VSDs will eventually will get into a service like yours, you're a cardiovascular surgeon? Male Speaker: VSDs can be classified in a number of different ways. But there are a few varieties of VSDs that are the most common forms. One form would be what we call a muscular VSD and those are VSDs that commonly give a loud murmur, so they are picked up very commonly in a pediatricians office and then confirmed by a cardiologist and those are holes that exist within folds of the muscles of that ventricular septum, that wall between the two ventricles. And those types of VSDs almost always close on their own. Other VSDs exist in different parts of the ventricular septum, most commonly what we call the membranous septum, which is sort of at the top of that wall, in an area where there really isn't muscle, it's more fibrous tissue. In that location the VSDs commonly will not close and if they are larger enough to cause significant symptoms in the patient, then within 3 months or 6 months of age, it's time the patient will require a surgical closure of that hole.