Last reviewed 12/2022

Treatment may be medical or surgical:

  • medical - excessive pulmonary blood flow may be temporarily controlled using diuretics. If the baby is dyspnoeic then solids may be introduced into the diet early because of the difficulty of breathing and sucking simultaneously.
  • surgical intervention is indicated if:
    • heart failure is uncontrolled by diuretics
    • there is progressive pulmonary hypertension; the defect should be closed to prevent end-stage pulmonary failure
    • there is infundibular obstruction
    • an attack of infective endocarditis; closure of the defect may be indicated
    • there is a sub-arterial defect; this is closed to prevent aortic regurgitation Note that antibiotic prophylaxis is indicated for dental and other operations.