How often do adults get diagnosed with an atrial septal defect that wasn't found as a child?

Not sure. About 1 in 4 people have a pfo, a patent foramen ovale, or small opening between the atria. In most people, this is not significant, but in some it can result in tias - transient ischemic attacks - or even strokes and must be treated medically or surgically.
It happens. Generally there are 2 reasons for the delay in diagnosis: it's very small, doesn't need treatment, and doesn't matter or the individual has not been under the type of medical care that would suggest it, ie where chest xrays, ekgs, or echos are done. In 30 years, i've just found a few.

Related Questions

My baby was diagnosed with both atrial septal defect and forearm patent ovale. What is prognosis?

Depends. If it is indeed only and ASD the prognosis is good. If there is a fetal syndrome the diagnosis is poorer. Genetic and cardiological studies are required before answering your question with any degree of accuracy. Read more...
Pretty good. Atrial septal Defect=hole between the upper chambers, Patent foramen ovale= normal opening between the upper chambers that usually closes after birth.The ASD can vary in size while the PFO is usually smaller. This defect may or may not produce symptoms. It is often closed on a non urgent basis before school age. Small ones can be closed through a catheter. The doc can be more specific. Read more...

What are the chances of passing an atrial septal defect from a parent to a child?

Very low. An asd, as well as most heart defects, are not hereditary traits that are passed on from parent to offspring. Read more...
3-5% The incidence of congenital heart disease in the general population is 0.8%. In patients with first degree relatives with chd, the incidence is 3-5%. There are some forms of familial ASD and the risk may be higher. Genetic testing is being developed, but not yet available for asd. I recommend that all of my patients with ASD have thier first degree relatives screened with echocardiograms. Read more...

What does it mean if my child has atrial septal defect?

Atrial septal defect. 4 types. Ostium primum, ostium secundum, sinus venosus asd, patent foramen ovale. Ostium primum and sinus venosus require open heart repair. Secundum, depending on size may be amenable to clamshell device vs open heart surgery repair. Pfo most amenable to endovascular repair. Diagnosed by echocardiogram, cardiac cath. Shunt fraction, arrythmias, reversibility of pulmonary hypertension all important. Read more...
Hole in wall. You have 2 upper chambers in the heart & 2 lower.An atrial septal defect is a hole in the wall between the upper chambers. It is under less pressure than the lower chambers so it often causes no obvious problems early on. Most are closed using various methods before school age. Read more...

Doctor confirmed my child has atrial septal defect and will need to follow up. Will this be a longterm problem?

Not likely. An atrial septal defect is a hole in the wall dividing the upper chambers of the heart. It is a fairly common diagnosis, about 4 per 10, 000 live births. These often will close on their own by school age. If not, they are very easily repaired with minimally-invasive techniques. A pediatric cardiologist will need to follow them till the hole closes either naturally or surgically. Read more...
Not really. Atrial septal defects are the most benign congenital heart defects. A small percentage may become smaller over time and close on there own. If not, they can be closed by the cardiologist with a device or by the surgeon. Either way, there is virtually 100% success with minimal (if any) morbidity. Read more...
ASD. An ASD requires noninvasive studies (echo/mri) to gauge the ratio of blood that is shunted from left to right. Assessment of possibly associated congenital abnormalities is necessary. Gauging (over time) changes in symptom status, such as dyspnea with exertion, and signs of right heart pressure/volume overload and/or pulmonary hypertension are important to follow too. Read more...

What options for getting an atrial septal defect repaired in an adult?

Catheter or knife. It can be repaired percutaneously through a catheter inserted through the leg or arm or by open surgery. Read more...
Which Type? Sinus venosus ASD requires surgical correction. Although rare a ostium primum ASD may have escaped diagnosis in a young adult and that also requires surgical closure. A small ostium secundum ASD might be able to be closed with a clamshell device as well as a patent foramen ovale. Large secundum ASD still surgical closure is the treatment. Other conditions like unroofed coronary sinus and papvr r/o. Read more...
Cath or surgery. A lot of asd's can be closed by trans catheter approach. Occasionally (if thery are so large with no rims) need cardiac surgery. Read more...

In an adult, what size (in mm or cm) differentiates a small, medium, and large unrepaired atrial septal defect?

ASD. These are really arbitrary, subjective terms, but i think of small as less than 8mm, medium as 8-16mm and large as greater than 16mm. However, the bottom line as to whether or not an ASD needs to get closed by catheter-based device or surgery hinges on whether the right side of the heart (right atrium and right ventricle) are enlarged. Read more...
Ok, varieties. Small can be from pinpoint patent foramen ovale to a centimeter or so. Large can be absence of the inter atrial wall! most secundum defects are 2-4 cm. Read more...

Atrial Septal Defect surgery for adults, how common is it? And what are the possible complications from this surgery?

Intervention or open. Less common today as most now diagnosed in infants. Many now repairable using catheter based techniques but if large still best fixed open. Slight risk of stroke and damage to conduction system but one of the safer open operations. Consider a center that does both pediatric and adult surgery to have the most expertise in either type of procedure. Read more...

I'm 34 & have a small/moderate atrial septal defect. Do these defects always get worse over time? My doc says my defect is "borderline" for closure.

No. May stay same and have minimal flow impact. The other concern with congenital defects is bacteremia and infection but less with asd paradoxical embolism is also a rare complication. Follow the md advice and echo follow up. Read more...
Worrisome finding. As a pediatrician i try to make sure i identify these early & most will be repaired by school age. A local associates wife had a mild stroke from a clot that slipped through one at 38, so i'm sensitive to the issue. Small defects can often be closed through a catheter with a special umbrella like device & i would wonder why you've not had this done already. Read more...
Not all need closure. Atrial septal defects are one of the most common congenital defects. Many people who have them will never have any impact from them. Closure may be needed if: 1) there is enough flow through to cause significant heart/lung changes 2) the ASD causes a neurological event (stroke or tia) 3) other rarer complications that can be traced back to the asd see and follow a cardiologist's advice. Read more...
Don't Always Worsen. Glad to hear you're seeing a doc. Asds do not always worsen. Many stay the same. But even if they stay the same, they can lead to problems with blood flow to your lungs. Continue to see your doctor. Your future echos, physical findings, and symptoms will evolve and help determine what to do (if anything at all). Read more...