Ventricular septal defect with secondary left ventricular-to-right atrial shunt is associated with a higher risk for infective endocarditis and a lower late chance of closure

Pediatrics. 2006 Feb;117(2):e262-7. doi: 10.1542/peds.2005-1255. Epub 2006 Jan 17.


Objective: Although ventricular septal aneurysm may diminish or even close the shunt through the ventricular septal defect (VSD), developing a left ventricular-to-right atrial (LV-RA) shunt may be unfavorable. This study sought to clarify this issue on the basis of an extended observation of such patients.

Methods: Sixty-eight patients (1201 patient-years) who had small perimembranous VSD and LV-RA shunt and were not operated on before 6 years of age were studied.

Results: The onset age of LV-RA shunt was 5.8 +/- 3.3 years, with clinical improvement later observed in 23 (34%). The murmur disappeared and showed spontaneous closure in 5 (7%). Seven episodes of infective endocarditis occurred in 6 (8.7%, or 58 per 10000 patient-years), with 2 receiving surgery. Another 4 received surgery during follow-up. With echocardiography, aneurysmal transformation involving the anterior and septal leaflets of tricuspid valve (double sac) was found in 56 (85%), whereas only the septal leaflet (single sac) was involved in 10. Patients with double sac were less likely to show improvement, whereas patients who had superior QRS axis and were female showed clinical improvement more frequently.

Conclusions: VSD with secondary LV-RA shunt is associated with a higher risk for infective endocarditis but still has a low chance for late improvement and even closure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Echocardiography
  • Endocarditis, Bacterial / etiology*
  • Female
  • Heart Septal Defects, Ventricular / complications
  • Heart Septal Defects, Ventricular / diagnostic imaging
  • Heart Septal Defects, Ventricular / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Tricuspid Valve / diagnostic imaging
  • Tricuspid Valve / pathology