Heart and Blood Conditions

Ventricular Septal Defect Symptoms and Diagnosis

Symptoms of Ventricular Septal Defect

A small ventricular septal defect (VSD) may cause no symptoms at all. A larger defect may cause symptoms soon after birth.

Children may have symptoms like these:

  • Fast breathing or working hard to breathe
  • Arrhythmia  
  • Frequent respiratory infections
  • Trouble eating or gaining weight (failure to thrive)
  • Pale skin

Large defects that aren't treated can increase the risk for certain heart or blood problems later in life, like high blood pressure in the lungs.

Ventricular Septal Defect Diagnosis

To diagnose this condition, your doctor will examine your child, check their heartbeat and use a stethoscope to listen to their heart. In children with VSD, doctors can often hear a heart murmur.

The doctor will ask for details about your child's symptoms, their health history and your family health history.

Your child will most likely need echocardiography and electrocardiogram.

They may need other tests that provide more information about how their heart looks and works. These include chest X-rays or MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) of the heart, angiography and cardiac catheterization.

Contact Us

Contact the Heart Center at 206-987-2015 for a cardiac referral, a second opinion or more information.