Atrial Septal Defect (ASD)

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Contact the Congenital Heart Valve Program

What is an atrial septal defect?

An atrial septal defect (ASD) is a hole in the wall that separates the upper right and left heart chambers (atria). It’s a congenital condition, which means it’s a defect a baby is born with.

An ASD allows oxygen-rich blood to pass from the left heart chamber and mix with oxygen-poor blood in the right chamber. Over time, this can cause the heart and lungs to work harder and put the child at risk for other conditions including:

The size of the hole can vary from small to large. Some ASDs close on their own over time. If it doesn’t close, the ASD may need to be repaired with surgery.

Care for atrial septal defects

The Cardiovascular Program at Boston Children’s Hospital is experienced in diagnosing and treating all types of congenital heart problems, including atrial septal defects. Our surgeons use non-invasive procedures to treat ASDs whenever possible.

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