Lung volume, indices of lung elasticity and airway patency were measured in 74 patients, 9-21 yr old (15.0 +/- 2.5 yr) with atrial septal defect (secundum type) from 2-11 (5.1 +/- 2.5) yr after successful surgical correction. Clinical condition in all patients was classified as excellent. Heart surgery was performed at the age of 4-14.8 (9.9 +/- 3.0) yr. Lung function abnormalities were found in 35 (47.3%) patients. Lung recoil pressure was significantly increased in 24 (32.4%) patients. The mean value of lung recoil pressure at 100% of total lung capacity reached 123 +/- 31% of the predicted value (P < 0.0001). Specific static compliance was within normal limits. Specific airway conductance was significantly reduced in 13 (17.6%) patients. Maximum expiratory flow at 25% of vital capacity was significantly reduced in 4 (5.4%) patients. Static lung volumes did not differ from reference values. Since various abnormalities of lung function tests (most frequently the tests suggested increased lung stiffness and obstruction of larger airways) were revealed in almost half of the studied children and adolescents after successful surgery for atrial septal defect, we propose to carry out lung function tests routinely as another criterion of health conditions in these patients.