SynopsisCodesDifferential Diagnosis & PitfallsBest TestsReferences
Ventricular septal defect
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Ventricular septal defect

Contributors: Ryan Hoefen MD, PhD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed


The presence of a defect (opening) in the interventricular septum. While they are usually congenital, ventricular septal defects (VSDs) may also occur as a complication of myocardial infarction. Congenital VSDs are often associated with other congenital heart defects such as atrial septal defects, patent ductus arteriosus, and right aortic arch. While they may be asymptomatic if the defect is small, shunting of blood from the left ventricle to the right ventricle can cause right heart failure, resulting in progressive shortness of breath, hypoxemia, and cyanosis, if the defect is sufficiently large.


Q21.0 – Ventricular septal defect

30288003 – Ventricular septal defect

Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls

  • Aortic stenosis
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
  • Mitral regurgitation
  • Tricuspid regurgitation
  • Patent ductus arteriosus

Best Tests

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Last Updated:01/25/2022
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Ventricular septal defect
A medical illustration showing key findings of Ventricular septal defect : Cyanosis, Heart murmur, Pallor
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