Congenital heart septum defect


A heart defect involving the septum which is present at birth. The defect is a hole in the wall of the heart that separates the right and left chambers and allows blood to flow through the hole. An atrial septal defect is a hole between the two upper heart chambers and a ventricular septal defect is a hole between the two lower heart chambers. Symptoms are determined by the size and exact location of the defect.


  • Asymptomatic 
  • Enlarged heart 
  • Poor appetite 
  • Failure to thrive 
  • Easily tired 
  • Swollen legs 
  • Swollen abdomen 
  • Heart palpitations 
  • High lung blood pressure 
  • Irregular heartbeat 
  • Frequent childhood respiratory infections
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Shortness of breath during exertion 
  • Bluish skin 
  • Bluish lips 
  • Bluish fingernails


The underlying cause of congenital heart defects is still largely unknown and is said to be of multifactoral origin, which includes environmental and genetic factors. Chromosomal abnormalities including point deletions and mutations may also be one of the causes. Environmental factors would normally include maternal illness, alcohol intake during pregnancy, infections and use of drugs that may cause birth defects.


Diagnosis is typically made when doctors hear a possible heart murmur though the stethoscope. Chest x-rays may be done to check any heart enlargement, as well as electrocardiogram to check any congestion of the lungs and heart of the patient.


In majority of the cases of congenital heart septum disorder, the holes have been known to close on its own with no aid of medication or treatment. However, regular checkups are required to check the condition of the heart and medications may be prescribed to relieve the symptoms and prevent possible infections.