ventricular septal defect

Last edited 12/2022 and last reviewed 02/2023

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.

Spontaneous closure occurs mainly during childhood and is uncommon in outlet defects (1)


  • Baumgartner M et al. ESC Scientific Document Group, 2020 ESC Guidelines for the management of adult congenital heart disease: The Task Force for the management of adult congenital heart disease of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). Endorsed by: Association for European Paediatric and Congenital Cardiology (AEPC), International Society for Adult Congenital Heart Disease (ISACHD), European Heart Journal, Volume 42, Issue 6, 7 February 2021, Pages 563-645