Diagnosis Heart & Vascular

Atrial Septal Defect

Most atrial septal defects (ASD) are discovered during childhood when a murmur, an extra heart sound, is heard during a physical examination.

To help diagnosis ASD in adulthood, your doctor also may suggest these tests:

  • Electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG): To record the heart's electrical activity
  • Chest X-ray: To see the size of the heart
  • Echocardiogram: An ultrasound examination of the heart

In addition, your doctor may use a cardiac catheterization procedure to inject a dye into the heart and to see on a moving picture X-ray how the heart and aorta are functioning.

Coronary angiography may be recommended for patients over age 40 to detect coronary artery disease.

UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.