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Atrial Septal Defects and PFO

Atrial septal defects (ASD) and patent formal ovale (PFO) are commonly recognized congenital cardiac anomalies presenting in adulthood.   These anomalies, also commonly referred to as “a hole in the heart” consist of an abnormal connection between the right and left upper chambers (the atria) of the heart. If this hole is large enough, it can cause enlargement of the heart and result in high pressures in the lungs. Other complications can include abnormal heart rhythms.

Symptoms are subtle and most individuals are asymptomatic till the fourth or fifth decade of life. Symptoms may consist of fatigue, shortness of breath or palpitations. The diagnosis is made by performing an ultrasound of the heart (echocardiogram) and measurement of pressures and blood flow directly in the heart by cardiac catheterization.

Once discovered most of these defects can be repaired using a minimally invasive procedure during a cardiac catheterization and surgery is rarely needed.


To learn more about the services provided by Westchester Heart and Vascular please contact us at:

866-WMC-HEART (866.962.4327).