Atrial Septal Defect
Signs and Symptoms
A large ASD causes several problems. The heart works harder because it pumps extra blood to the lungs, which may cause the right side of your heart to enlarge resulting in irregular heartbeats called arrhythmias. It also may cause congestive heart failure, usually in middle age. In addition, a large amount of extra blood flow damages the blood vessels in the lung. All ASDs larger than a few millimeters in diameter should be closed to prevent these problems.
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.