Atrial Septal Defect
Atrial septal defect (ASD) is a hole in the wall between the two upper chambers of the heart, called the atria. This hole usually does not cause any symptoms or problems in a young child. Over a person’s lifetime, the extra blood crossing the hole goes to the lungs. This can damage the blood vessels of the lungs. Adults who still have a hole are at greater risk of strokes. If very small, an atrial septal defect may not require any treatment. Other defects may need cardiac catheterization or surgery to close or patch the hole.
Normal heart – in a healthy heart with proper blood flow, the blue droplets representing oxygen-poor blood travel to the lungs, and the red oxygen-rich droplets circulate through the body.
A heart with ASD has a hole in the wall between the two upper chambers of the heart. Over the course of a lifetime, extra blood can pass through to the lungs and potentially damge the lung's blood vessels.
A secundum defect is in the center of the wall.
Primum defect – located low in the wall, down near the tricuspid and mitral valves.