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July 1964

Untreated, Low-Pressure Ventricular Septal Defect: Repeated Cardiac Catheterization

Author Affiliations

Research Fellow, St. Louis Heart Association (Dr. Aykent), Trainee in Cardiovascular Surgery (Dr. Shields).; From the departments of internal medicine, pediatrics, and surgery and the Center for Cardiovascular Research, St. Louis University.

Arch Surg. 1964;89(1):126-130. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1964.01320010128012

The choice of treatment in ventricular septal defect is based on observation of the natural history of this entity. A number of authors * have reported the progress of untreated patients with isolated ventricular septal defect, indicating a spectrum of possibilities varying from spontaneous closure to progression of pulmonary hypertension.

We are reporting our studies of ventricular septal defect in 32 children below the age of 12 years at the time of initial observation. Most of them were asymptomatic with pulmonary arterial systolic pressure below 30 mm Hg. Catheterization and cineangiography were repeated from one to seven years after the initial studies. In two instances, a third set of observations followed the second by three to five years.

Method  Right heart catheterization was performed in the usual way, by venous cutdown or by percutaneous venipuncture in the groin. Pressures and intracardiac oxygen saturations were obtained from various chambers and cineangiograms in

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