Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD): Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 9/10/2019

A ventricular septal defect (VSD) is a hole or opening in the septum or wall that divides the two lower chambers (ventricles) of the heart. A VSD is the most common congenital defect (birth defect) of the heart.

Signs and symptoms of a ventricular septal defect depend on the size of the defect or hole in the septum. A small defect is common and may close on its own. A large ventricular septal defect may cause associated symptoms and signs that can include fatigue, blue skin from poor circulation, failure to thrive, swelling, rapid breathing, shortness of breath, an enlarged heart, heart murmur, inability to exercise, sweating, and poor weight gain.

Cause of ventricular septal defect (VSD)

The exact reason for the development of a VSD is an error during embryonic development.

Other ventricular septal defect (vsd) symptoms and signs


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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.