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    Atrial Septal Defects

    Important
    It is possible that the main title of the report Atrial Septal Defects is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.

    Synonyms

    • ASD
    • Atrioseptal Defects

    Disorder Subdivisions

    General Discussion

    Atrial septal defects (ASDs) are a group of rare disorders of the heart that are present at birth (congenital) and involve a hole in the wall (septum) that separates the two upper-chambers (atria) of the heart.

    Normally the heart has four chambers: two upper chambers known as atria that are separated from each other by a fibrous partition known as the atrial septum and two lower chambers known as ventricles that are separated from each other by the ventricular septum. Valves connect the atria (left and right) to their respective ventricles. A small opening between the two atria (foramen ovale) is present at birth. Shortly after birth, the atrial septum gradually grows and seals this opening. In infants with atrial septal defects, the atrial septum may not close properly or may be malformed during fetal development. In these disorders, the opening (called patent foramen ovale) between the atria persists long after it should be closed, resulting in an increase in the workload on the right side of the heart and excessive blood flow to the lungs.

    Initially, the symptoms associated with atrial septal defects may be absent or so mild that they may go unnoticed. Frequently this disorder is not recognized until school age or even adulthood. In adults with undetected atrial septal defects, various respiratory problems and/or heart failure may develop.

    Several forms of atrial septal defects are recognized. They are classified according to their location in the septum. The term primum refers to defects that are in the lower part of the septum. The term secundum refers to defects that are located in the middle of the septum, and the term sinus venosus refers to defects in the upper part of the septum.

    Resources

    March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation
    1275 Mamaroneck Avenue
    White Plains, NY 10605
    Tel: (914)997-4488
    Fax: (914)997-4763
    Tel: (888)663-4637
    Email: Askus@marchofdimes.com
    Internet: http://www.marchofdimes.com

    American Heart Association
    7272 Greenville Avenue
    Dallas, TX 75231
    Tel: (214)784-7212
    Fax: (214)784-1307
    Tel: (800)242-8721
    Email: Review.personal.info@heart.org
    Internet: http://www.heart.org

    American Lung Association
    1301 Pennsylvania Ave NW
    Suite 800
    Washington, DC 20004
    USA
    Tel: (202)785-3355
    Fax: (202)452-1805
    Tel: (800)586-4872
    Email: info@lungusa.org
    Internet: http://www.lungusa.org

    NIH/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
    P.O. Box 30105
    Bethesda, MD 20892-0105
    Tel: (301)592-8573
    Fax: (301)251-1223
    Email: nhlbiinfo@rover.nhlbi.nih.gov
    Internet: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/

    Kids With Heart ~ National Association for Children's Heart Disorders, Inc.
    1578 Careful Dr.
    Green Bay, WI 54304
    Tel: (920)498-0058
    Fax: (920)498-0058
    Tel: (800)538-5390
    Email: michelle@kidswithheart.org
    Internet: http://www.kidswithheart.org

    Little Hearts, Inc.
    P.O. Box 171
    110 Court Street, Suite 3A
    Cromwell, CT 06416
    USA
    Tel: (860)635-0006
    Fax: (860)635-0006
    Tel: (866)435-4673
    Email: info@littlehearts.org
    Internet: http://www.littlehearts.org

    Congenital Heart Information Network (C.H.I.N.)
    P.O. Box 3397
    Margate City, NJ 08402-0397
    Tel: (609)823-4507
    Fax: (609)822-1574
    Email: mb@tchin.org
    Internet: http://www.tchin.org

    Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center
    PO Box 8126
    Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
    Tel: (301)251-4925
    Fax: (301)251-4911
    Tel: (888)205-2311
    TDD: (888)205-3223
    Internet: http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/GARD/

    Madisons Foundation
    PO Box 241956
    Los Angeles, CA 90024
    Tel: (310)264-0826
    Fax: (310)264-4766
    Email: getinfo@madisonsfoundation.org
    Internet: http://www.madisonsfoundation.org

    For a Complete Report:

    This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be downloaded free from the NORD website for registered users. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational therapies (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, go to www.rarediseases.org and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

    The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.

    It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report

    This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

    For additional information and assistance about rare disorders, please contact the National Organization for Rare Disorders at P.O. Box 1968, Danbury, CT 06813-1968; phone (203) 744-0100; web site www.rarediseases.org or email orphan@rarediseases.org

    Last Updated: 3/12/2008
    Copyright 1986, 1994, 1999, 2006 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

    WebMD Medical Reference from the National Organization for Rare Disorders

    Last Updated: May 28, 2015
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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