A hole in the heart is a congenital heart defect which arises as a result of certain structural defects in the heart during fetal development. A hole in the heart tends to alter the way the blood flows through the heart.
Anatomically, the heart is divided into two sides, the right and the left side. These two sides are separated from each other by a wall called septum. While the right side of the heart pumps deoxygenated blood to the lungs, the left side of the heart pumps the oxygenated blood to the rest of the body. The septum functions by protecting the deoxygenated blood from mixing with the oxygenated blood.
While in most cases there is no opening between the left and right side of the heart, some children at the time of birth have a hole in the septum. This allows for intermixing of deoxygenated and oxygenated blood causing a variety of symptoms.
Out of the many questions that are asked by parents of children with a hole in the heart, one question that often at times comes is whether a hole in the heart may cause a stroke later in life, if left untreated.
Can A Hole In The Heart Cause A Stroke?
The answer to this question is although rare there are some chances of a hole in the heart causing stroke. This is especially true for atrioseptal defect meaning a hole in the upper two chambers of the heart.
In majority of the cases, this hole closes on its own with time but if it does not close and is left untreated it may cause blood clots from other parts of the body to get into the heart resulting in a stroke.
In conclusion, a hole in the upper two chambers of the heart has a potential of causing a stroke if it does not close by itself and is left untreated. This is a rare phenomenon and tends to happen generally later on in life of the child with a hole in the heart.
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