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February 1973

Spontaneous Closure of Small Ventricular Septal Defects: Probability Rates in the First Five Years of Life

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics and Biostatistics, the Johns Hopkins University Schools of Medicine and Hygiene and Public Health (Dr. Mellits and Mr. Alpert), and the Helen B. Taussig Children's Cardiac Center, the Johns Hopkins Hospital (Dr. Rowe), Baltimore.

Am J Dis Child. 1973;125(2):194-196. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1973.04160020028005

Infants with a clinical diagnosis of small ventricular septal defect made between 1967 and 1969 have been reviewed; recent physical examination data was obtained for 52 of the 55 children. Spontaneous closure of the ventricular defect occurred in 30 patients (58%). The incidence of closure was considered separately for muscular (65%) and membranous defects (25%), as well as for those defects where the anatomic position could not be determined clinically (58%).

Age at closure, duration and intensity of the murmur, and the number of months of follow-up in nonclosures were all analyzed. As a practical index, the probabilities of closure by 5 years of age were calculated for patients theoretically presenting at birth, 1 year, and 2 years of age. These were, respectively, 58%, 48%, and 35%.