Outcome of children with atrial septal defect considered too small for surgical closure

Am J Cardiol. 1999 Jun 1;83(11):1552-5. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9149(99)00146-0.


There are few studies providing information on the natural course of hemodynamically insignificant atrial septal defect (ASD). To review the outcome of patients with secundum ASD, we retrospectively reviewed the charts of patients who had initially not been considered for surgical closure after age 1 year, and who had either a follow-up of at least 10 years or documented closure. Thirty patients, 22 females and 8 males, fulfilled our inclusion criteria. Mean age at diagnosis was 1.3 year and mean follow-up duration was 11.5 years. Seventeen patients had spontaneous closure of the ASD at a mean age of 8.4 years. There were 7 asymptomatic patients whose ASD was still patent at the last visit (mean age 14.1 years, mean follow-up 13.2), with defect dimensions on echocardiography ranging from 1 to 6 mm. The remaining 6 patients were considered to require surgical closure on the basis of an apparent increase in size of the ASD and secondary clinical and hemodynamic manifestations. These results (1) confirm that not all secundum ASDs need to be treated surgically because they can still spontaneously close past the age of 5, and (2) suggest that in a minority of cases the size of the defect could increase.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Contraindications
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Heart Septal Defects, Atrial / physiopathology
  • Heart Septal Defects, Atrial / surgery*
  • Hemodynamics
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome