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Secundum atrial septal defect (ASDII) is a common congenital heart defect that causes shunting of blood between the systemic and pulmonary circulations. Patients with an isolated ASDII often remain asymptomatic during childhood and adolescence. If the defect remains untreated, however, the rates of exercise intolerance, supraventricular arrhythmias, right ventricular dysfunction and pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) increase with patient age, and life expectancy is reduced. Transcatheter and surgical techniques both provide valid options for ASDII closure, the former being the preferred method. With the exception of those with severe and irreversible PAH, closure is beneficial to, and thus indicated in all patients with significant shunts, regardless of age and symptoms. The symptomatic and survival benefits conferred by defect closure are inversely related to patient age and the presence of PAH, supporting timely closure after diagnosis. In this paper we review the management of adult patients with an isolated ASDII, with a focus on aspects of importance to the decision regarding defect closure and medical follow-up.
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- Secundum atrial septal defect in adults: a practical review and recent developments
Joey M. Kuijpers
Barbara J.M. Mulder
Berto J. Bouma
- Bohn Stafleu van Loghum