What are Holes in the Human Heart?

What are Holes in the Human Heart?

Holes in a human heart are classified under congenital heart defects. These congenital defects are some structural imperfections present in the heart right from the time of birth. The main reason as to why these heart holes make people afraid is because they alter the normal blood flow of human body.

Alike the brain, human heart also has two sides in it. As we breathe, heart starts the pumping procedure for our body. Now, with every beat, right side of heart gets oxygen poor blood, which it pumps to the lungs. And then lungs flow oxygen rich blood to left part of the heart, which in turn propels blood to the body.

What are Holes in the Human Heart?


These left and right sides of heart are separated by Septal, whose main task is to prevent mixing of blood between both sides of heart. Howsoever, unfortunately some of us are born with little holes in either upper or lower Septal. If this Septal hole exists between upper two chambers of the heart, then it is called Atrial Septal Defect (ASD). And if the hole is between the lower chambers of heart, then the person is said to have Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD). Both ASD and VSD tend to allow flow of blood directly amidst the two sides of heart, which is ideally an unhealthy situation. As a result, some quantity of oxygen deficient blood gets mixed up with oxygen rich one, it causes oxygen deficit blood being pumped to the body. Due to continuation of this process some or the other body organ might start suffering. Moreover, oxygen rich blood going into lungs is not a good sign either.

Initially, these heart holes were almost impossible to be cured, but as tech and science industry grew medicinal world also took benefits. Now diagnosis and treatment of both types of Septal defects is easier than before. Kids who get diagnosed at tender age, can make it to a healthy adulthood without much trouble. Sometimes with an active lifestyle, these holes get closed or repaired on their own.


The Atrial Septal Defect is found at the junction separating atria (the upper chambers of heart). The major forms of ASDs are known as Secundum, Primum and Sinus venosus. Thus many heart and lung problems can occur if ASD is not diagnosed and treated in time. The ideal deadline for diagnose is the age of 30, after that risk factor starts increasing more. The possible complications occurring due to any form of ASD include right heart failure, arrhythmias, stroke and pulmonary hyperextension. All these are rare to be noticed and hence it is better if ASDs get self-cured by middle age.


Following the pattern, Ventricular Septal Defect is the hole at ventricles separating Septal. Ideally blood rich in oxygen should flow to aorta, but coz of VSD it gets pumped from left to right ventricle, which means the same blood got pumped back to its origin (i.e. lungs). Different forms of VSD are there as per the location of the defect. When found near the heart valves, it is Membranous VSD; if located in lower Septal, it’s muscular VSD. While inlet and outlet VSDs are also there depending whether defect is at opening or closing end of the ventricles.

There is a human tendency to put blame for our work on others, but mothers? They operate differently. If a child has inborn hole in heart, the mother will always keep thinking that something went wrong during the pregnancy period which caused such trouble. In some cases, heredity and smoking while pregnancy can be the cause. But mostly doctors are unaware of the cause of a congenital defect.

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Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:October 20, 2018

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