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Pediatric Atrial Septal Defect (ASD)

What You Need to Know

An atrial septal defect (ASD) is an opening in the atrial septum, or dividing wall between the two upper chambers of the heart.

Key Symptoms

Many children have no symptoms and seem healthy. However, if the ASD is large, noticeable symptoms may include fatigue, shortness of breath, poor growth and other symptoms.


Your child's cardiologist may listen to your child's heart and lungs and use tests such as X-rays, electrocardiogram and other diagnostic tests.


Treatment for an atrial septal defect may include medical management, surgical repair, device closure or the defect may close spontaneously as a child grows.


Our team is standing by to schedule your child’s appointment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Prevention and Risk Assessment

What is an atrial septal defect?

What causes an atrial septal defect in children?

What are the types of atrial septal defects in children?

Why is an atrial septal defect in children a concern?


What are the symptoms of an atrial septal defect in children?

How is an atrial septal defect diagnosed in a child?


What treatment is available for atrial septal defect in children?

What should I expect from my child's post-procedure care for an atrial septal defect?

How do I care for my child at home following an ASD repair?

What is the long-term outlook for my child after ASD repair?

Anatomy of the Heart

This animation presents the anatomy of the heart in detail. Learn about the organ's various parts and the roles that they play.

Providers Who Treat Atrial Septal Defect (ASD)


Sophia's Story

Sophia was diagnosed with  tetralogy of Fallot.


Nick's Story

Departments that Treat Atrial Septal Defect (ASD)

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Children's National Heart Center

Our expert pediatric heart team, including more than 40 subspecialties, offer advanced heart care and excellent outcomes for thousands of children every year.

A prenatal practitioner meets with a pregnant patient.

Prenatal Cardiology Program

Children diagnosed with heart conditions before they are born receive comprehensive, expert care from our fetal cardiology specialists. Learn more about our Prenatal Cardiology Program.

A baby with a stethoscope.

The Zickler Family Prenatal Pediatrics Institute

The Zickler Family Prenatal Pediatrics Institute at Children's National Hospital in Washington, D.C., provides specialized care for babies during pregnancy, delivery and after birth.

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