A review of the therapeutic management of multiple ventricular septal defects

J Card Surg. 2022 May;37(5):1361-1376. doi: 10.1111/jocs.16289. Epub 2022 Feb 11.


Background and aim: We showed in our anatomical review, ventricular septal defects existing as multiple entities can be considered in terms of three major subsets. We address here the diagnostic challenges, associated anomalies, the role and techniques of surgical instead of interventional closure, and the outcomes, including reinterventions, for each subset.

Methods: We reviewed 80 published investigations, noting radiographic findings, and the results of clinical imaging elucidating the location, number, size of septal defects, associated anomalies, and the effect of severe pulmonary hypertension.

Results: Overall, perioperative mortality for treatment of residual multiple defects has been cited to be between 0% and 14.2%, with morbidity estimated between 6% and 13%. Perioperative mortality is twice as high for perimembranous compared to muscular defects, with the need for reoperation being over four times higher. Perventricular hybrid approaches are useful for the closure of high anterior or apical defects. Overall, the results have been unsatisfactory. Pooled data reveals incidences between 2.8% and 45% for device-related adverse events. Currently, however, outcomes cannot be assessed on the basis of the different anatomical subsets.

Conclusions: We have addressed the approaches, and the results, of therapeutic treatment in terms of coexisting discrete defects, the Swiss-cheese septum, and the arrangement in which a solitary apical muscular defect gives the impression of multiple defects when viewed from the right ventricular aspect. Treatment should vary according to the specific combination of defects.

Keywords: Swiss-cheese ventricular septal defects; congenital heart disease; muscular ventricular septal defects; percutaneous device closure; perventricular hybrid device closure; pulmonary artery banding.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures* / methods
  • Heart Septal Defects, Ventricular* / diagnostic imaging
  • Heart Septal Defects, Ventricular* / surgery
  • Heart Ventricles / surgery
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary* / etiology
  • Infant
  • Reoperation
  • Septal Occluder Device*
  • Treatment Outcome