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Features include :

  • chest radiography shows a prominent pulmonary artery, an enlarged right heart, pulmonary plethora - excessive pulmonary blood flow.
  • in the common ostium secundum defect the axis may be normal or shifted to the right. In the ostium primum defect there is left axis shift.
  • echocardiogram permits visualisation of the atrial septal defect and demonstrates any dilatation of the right heart.
  • doppler studies may show possible flow disturbance.
  • cardiac catheterization confirms the diagnosis - serial measurements of oxygen saturation up the vena cava show an abrupt step at the level of the right atrium.

Click here for example ECGs and further information

Last edited 06/2020