13 Ventricular septal defect

Dr. Rhea
Date: 1905
Size (H x W x D cm): 14 x 12 x 9
Abbott Number 38

The opened left ventricle shows a 3 mm defect inferior to the aortic valve (glass rod). Slight thickening of the endocardium is evident adjacent to the defect (A, arrow), likely as a result of turbulent blood flow.

A. Click on image to enlarge.

History: Three and 1/2 year-old boy. Incidental finding following death from burn accident.

Comment: Small ventricular defects are not uncommon and usually close spontaneously during infancy as the heart grows (see specimen 15). Unclosed defects of this size are unlikely to result in significant physiologic shunt and clinical symptoms. However, the endocardial fibrosis at the orifice can serve as a site for the development of infectious endocarditis.

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