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Doctor insights on: Causes Of Right To Left Shunt

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Atrial septum defects: right to left shunt, what is all this?

Atrial septum defects: right to left shunt, what is all this?

ASD: Usually with an atrial septal defect the blood flow or shunt goes from left to right, however, in some situations when there is pulmonary hypertension the shunting goes from right to left. The problem with that is it causes some of the blood to bypass the lungs and not get the oxygen needed to bring to the tissues. ...Read more

Shunt (Definition)

Device that allows the flow of usually a fluid between two places. Sometimes a shunt may be used during carotid endarterectomy surgery to maintain the blood flow to the brain while the carotid artery ...Read more


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Diagnosis: right to left shunt now what? I've been experiencing headaches and memory loss, my np referred me to a neurologist. Results from testing were sent to np. I just left her office with a follow up to see neurologist again but the diagnosis is rig

Diagnosis: right to left shunt now what? I've been experiencing headaches and memory loss, my np referred me to a neurologist.  Results from testing were sent to np. I just left her office with a follow up to see neurologist again but the diagnosis is rig

The : The heart has two "sides": the right side pumps blood to the lungs for oxygenation and the left side pumps it to the body. A right to left shunt is one that sends blood directly from the right side to the left, bypassing the lungs. This is important fro two reasons: 1) the shunted blood does not have the opportunity to drop off carbon dioxide and pick up oxygen. If the shunt is large, it will reduce the amount of oxygen in your blood and leave you easily winded. 2) the lung, in addition to increasing the oxygen level in the blood, filters out any tiny clots or other particles in the blood. When that filter is missing, there's an increased risk of strokes. Since you have a right to left shunt, you should probably be on a blood thinner, and you should make sure that any IV lines you have placed are freed of all bubbles (the common idea that a few bubbles in a vein will cause damage is not true--unless you have a right to left shunt. Treatment depends on the size of the shunt and its location. If it's very small, you may need nothing. However, if it's big enough to create problems (and it sounds like yours is) then it probably needs to be closed. If it's in the heart, this is done by a cardiologist using a percutaneous closure device or by a cardiac surgeon using traditional open-heart surgery. If it is in the arteries of the lung, it is treated by an interventional radiologist using small artery-blocking coils placed via a puncture in the hip area or the neck. I don't know the joliet area well enough to know who's close by, but you can go to http://doctor-finder.Sirweb.Org/ to find an interventional radiologist in your area. One other thing: shunts in the lung arteries are associated with a condition called osler-weber-rendu syndrome (also know as hereditary hemorrhagic telangietasia). You should be evaluated for this condition and, if you have it, your relatives should be evaluated too. It has a strong family inheritance pattern. ...Read more

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Which is worse left to right shunt or right to left? Can the shunting get better?

Which is worse left to right shunt or right to left? Can the shunting get better?

Not clear : The right to left shunt or left to right shunt is usually a congenital defect. The reasons for the defect can be varied but the left to right shunt is better to have but neither is good. The right to left shunt sends unoxygenated blood out to the body. Need to see a cardiologist with possibility of needing surgery. ...Read more

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Is a small interatrial septal aneurysm with right to left shunting always patched?

Is a small interatrial septal aneurysm with right to left shunting always patched?

It depends: Typically a patent foramen ovale with intra-atrial septal aneurysm is closed if a patient has had a blood clot transit through the defect. This typically manifests as a stroke or other embolic event. If you have not had any embolic events treatment with Aspirin is all that is necessary. If you have had an event you should be on a blood thinner or consider having the defect closed. Good luck. ...Read more

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Danger in right to left heart shunting of blood?

Danger in right to left heart shunting of blood?

Shunt: R to l shunting moves deoxygenated blood into the systemic circulation so less oxygen gets delivered to the tissues. It also makes it possible for venous clots to get into the arterial system. This is not good. ...Read more

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Can atrial septal defects shunt left to right stay the same instead of reversing to right to left?

Depends on pressure: An atrial septal defect (ASD) is an abnormal opening in the wall between the two upper chambers of the heart. Blood flow across will depend on right-left pressure differences: high-to-low. After birth, left is higher than right. But in instances of lung disease or other causes of increased right sided heart pressures (pregnancy, scuba diving), normal left-right blood flow can reverse. ...Read more

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Why does intracardiac right to left shunting occur? Since the left side of heart has higher pressure, how can blood from right side flow through?

Shunt: Good observation....We see right to left shunting when the right sided pressure is higher than the left side and a connection is present between the circulations. This is when pulmonary hypertension is present. There are various causes of pulmonary hypertension including late changes in the lung from left to right shunting. ...Read more

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Abnormal shunt left to right atrium suggestive small atrial septal defect can this make the shunt also go right to left if so is it dangerous?

Abnormal shunt left to right atrium suggestive small atrial septal defect can this make the shunt also go right to left if so is it dangerous?

If RA>LA pressure: Shunt flow will direct from the higher pressure chamber to the lower pressure one. This usually results in left to right shunting across an asd. Over time, as flow into RA is increased, a corresponding increase in pulmonary blood flow will lead to pulmonary hypertension. The subsequent rise in right sided pressures will lead to reverse shunting (r to l) with cyanosis (eisenmenger). ...Read more

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I have an Asd with left to right shunt and an atrial septal aneurysm. Do these shunts start as right to left then as get worse become left to right?

Usually starts L-->R: At birth the left side has higher pressures than the RT side. Thus flow is mainly L-->R. If the ASD is small it may close on its own but if not tends not to cause a problem. If it is large the flow L-->R increases volume load on the Right leading to increased RT pressure, this will reverse the net flow to Rt-->Lft. If large it should be closed before development of increase RT pressures. ...Read more