A ventricular septal defect is a left to right shunt that occurs through a defect in the intraventricular septum of the heart.
Septal defects may be congenital or they may be acquired during later life, as the result of a myocardial infarction (occurring in 1-3% of all infarcts) or trauma.
Defects may be single or multiple and vary greatly in size. In about 70% of cases the size of the defect is relatively small.
Last reviewed 01/2018