Ventricular Septal Defect (cont.)
During the growth of a child, the defect may become smaller and close on its own.
- Twenty to 25% of all ventricular septal defects close by age 3 years without medical intervention.
- Children who show no symptoms and are being monitored by a primary care provider do not have to restrict their activities. Children with mild-to-moderate shunting of blood may have to reduce their levels of activity.
- Once a defect is repaired, there are no restrictions on activity.
Several other conditions may result from ventricular septal defects.
- Aortic regurgitation: Blood flowing backward from the aorta into the left ventricle.
- Endocarditis: An infection of the heart valves due to abnormal blood flow. Because endocarditis is always possible, medical professionals recommend that children with ventricular septal defects routinely receive antibiotics before undergoing dental procedures or surgery.
- Pulmonary hypertension: An increase in pressure in the right side of the heart and in the arteries of the lungs. This is caused by the shunting of blood from the left to the right ventricle, which increases the pressure in the right ventricle.
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD
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