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Atrial Septal Defect

Atrial septal defect is a type of congenital heart disease in which there is an opening in the wall between the right and left atrium of the heart (the upper chambers). This results in some oxygenated blood from the left flowing through a hole in the septum into the right, mixing with oxygen-poor blood and increasing the amount of blood flowing to the lungs. This creates a swishing sound, a heart murmur, which can be the first indication of the problem.

When the defects are a certain size they generally need to be corrected either with a catheter procedure or with open heart surgery.