Is Atrial Septal Defect Life Threatening?

Atrial septal defect (ASD) is one of the most commonly present congenital cardiac anomalies recognized during adulthood. This defect is signalized by a hole in the interatrial septum, which allows left atrium’s oxygen rich blood flow to right atrium. Atrial septal defects are claimed to be present in the person by birth, but sometimes genetics and environmental dynamics also play a part in causing this heart defect. However, the intensity of risk varies according to location and size of the hole. Small holes do not cause much trouble and the most often they get self-cured as the infancy ends or adulthood approaches. But large and longstanding atrial septal defect can prove lethal in cases.

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Observing the statistics of congenital anomalies around the world and the advancements in medical technology, most infants born with ASD are living a long and healthy life. But, the stats never said the disease is an ignorable one. It is indeed life threatening, if not detected in-time and taken appropriate measures. Atrial septal defect causes prolonged damage to heart and lungs, leading to treacherous ailments such as high blood pressure, pulmonary hyperexpansion, heart failure, etc.

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Is Atrial Septal Defect Life Threatening?

How Can ASDs Cost Life?

The main reason why ASDs turn life threatening is that there are merely noticeable symptoms. In most cases reported, the patient claims to witness the symptoms after school-age is over. For the reason that heart murmur is the indicator of atrial septal defect countersigned in babies. However, the adults usually observe many more signs denoting ASDs. The most common of them are higher blood pressure, sudden pulmonary hyperexpansion, cyanosis (bluishness of skin), exercise intolerance and/or clubbing of fingertips. Certain adults diagnosed with atrial septal defect also noticed abnormal rise in the quantity of their circulatory red blood cells, also known as polycythemia. Not just this, in certain scenarios abscesses got developed in brain of the person suffering from atrial septal defect. Swollen legs or arms and breathing struggle are the common signs along with heart murmurs recorded in congenital anomaly database.

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Each one of us desires to live a healthy and active life. Conversely, living with a hole in the heart surely doesn’t sound pretty healthy. In the above paragraph you read some unusual symptoms yet casual for atrial septal defects. Let’s head over to some severe cases of ASDs, where people noticed extreme scenarios with these congenital defects. These patients acknowledged occasional chest pains, irregular heartbeats (aka arrhythmias), abnormal amplification of the heart, and fluttering of the heart (medically known as atrial fibrillation) leading to heart/lung failure.

ASDs and to-be Mothers

Worse case occurs with females suffering from atrial septal defects. Coz’ if any women with ASD gets pregnant may get at risk of a series of blood clot formation, which is not to mention a highly dangerous for any to-be mother. These blood clots detach themselves from blood vessels’ walls and travel to the embolism (systemic circulation).

When there is a large septal defect, large amount of oxygen rich blood flows into the right atrium which in turn makes the right heart overwork than usual. As a result, this side of heart gets inflated and with the constantly increasing pressure it becomes weak. Prolonged situation can turn hazardous and cause inflammation in the lungs as well which means pulmonary hyperexpansion may occur anytime.

Alike the Down syndrome, congenital heart defects are famous for running through the blood line. Genetic counselors have jotted down many encounters where, an adult and child from the same family had ASD. The counselor suspected future infants of the hierarchy to possess ASD as well. In maximum statuses, the genetic examiner was proven positive.

Nonetheless, how the atrial septal defect will wind up is unaffected by hierarchy. Some people simply suffer a heart stroke and live a shortened lifespan. Others may survive long but with right-sided heart failure or arrhythmias. At any cost, if encountered with either of the symptoms, there must not be any delay in seeking medical advice.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: October 17, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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