When complaints occur, these are above all:
- difficulty in breathing
- Tiredness and exhaustion
- decreased physical efficiency
- Water retention in the stomach and legs
When ventricular septum defects usually appear earlier and more pronounced. By additional congenital anomalies or errors of the heart, the circulatory conditions can be further changed in case of atrial or ventricular septal defect. For example, additional pulmonary stenosis (narrowing of the valve in the right ventricle) promotes early loading of the right heart with shunt reversal in higher-grade ventricular septal defects.
Complications of the heart septum defect
Significant atrial septal defects but especially septal defects can lead to the following complications:
- Heart muscle weakness of the right heart
- Strain on pulmonary circulation with pulmonary hypertension
- shunt reversal
Without timely effective treatment in the form of surgery, the life expectancy of patients with large septal defects is significantly reduced.
Diagnosis of heart failure
Ready for birth with ultrasound can detect heart defects; the diagnosis of a significant heart septum defect can be confirmed by ultrasound and cardiac catheterization already in newborns.
Of crucial importance for the further treatment plan are the size of the defect and the extent of the resulting additional blood flow due to the short circuit between the right and left heart. The acquired cardiac septal defect is usually a serious complication of heart attack and is also diagnosed by ultrasound or by cardiac catheterization.
Therapy of a Herfscheidewanddefekts
Basically, an operative or a drug therapy into consideration. The long-term only effective treatment option is the heart surgery with a closure of the defect by the surgeon dar. The time of surgery should ideally be chosen so that the conditions in the heart before the onset of cardiac insufficiency, a load on the pulmonary circulation or even a shunt reversal can be normalized.
- Congenital ventricular septal defect: In individual cases, heart surgery may be indicated even before the first year of life, especially in the case of a large vascular defect. In less serious cases of a septum defect, the hole also partially closes itself, or at least recovers, so that the operation can be postponed.
- Congenital atrial septal defect: In the case of atrial septal defect, there are also precise criteria based on a cardiac catheterization to determine the necessity and timing of the operation.
- When the acquired septum defect, which usually occurs as a complication of a prolonged myocardial infarction, is either operated on an emergency basis or waited until the acute infarction phase has subsided. The further procedure then takes place in turn depending on the size of the defect.
At any time of the disease, especially before surgery, an additional attempt can be made to stabilize circulatory conditions with medication, although only limited treatment success is to be expected.
Unfortunately, as with all genetic diseases, there are no prevention options. However, the course of the disease can be favorably influenced by early diagnosis, regular follow-up visits to the treating specialist and possibly timely cardiac surgery. With regard to the acquired cardiac septal defect, the same precautions apply as with all cardiovascular diseases.