Ventricular Septal Defect Page


Welcome to the ventricular septal defect page. On this page we provide a definition, sample heart sounds and links to the training lessons available on this site.

What is a Ventricular Septal Defect?

Ventricular septal defect is the presence of one or more holes in the septum, the wall separating the left and right ventricles. It is a relatively common congenital heart defect.


Ventricular septal defect is diagnosed by cardiac auscultation, as discussed below. Additional tests may include heart catheterization, chest x-ray, EKG, echocardiogram and MRI.

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Ventricular Septal Defect Heart Sounds

Below there is a simulated example of an ventricular septal defect as heard at the tricuspid position. Ventricular Septal Defect is a congenital condition associated with abnormal blood flow between the left ventricle and the right ventricle. During fetal development a wall develops creating a right and left ventricle. In a percentage of individuals a defect in the wall persists allowing blood flow from the left ventricle into the right ventricle. This condition is known as a ventricular septal defect. The first heart sound is normal. The second heart sound is unsplit. There is a third heart sound followed by a short diamond shaped diastolic murmur. A medium pitched murmur fills all of systole.

In addition to the simulated heart sound we have included a recording of a patient.

Ventricular Septal Defect phonocardiogram

Listening Tips
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Diastole: S3 in patient recordings. Simulated sound includes a brief murmur.

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