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glossary:atrial_septal_defect [2012/10/16 14:40] (current)
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|+||(ASD): A hole in the septum, the wall, between the atria, the upper chambers of the [[heart]]. Commonly called an ASD. ASDs constitute a major class of [[heart]] formation abnormalities present at birth (congenital cardiac malformations). Normally, when clots in [[vein]]s break off, they travel first to the right side of the heart and, then to the lungs where they lodge as an obstruction (embolus). The [[lung]]s act as a filter to prevent the clots from entering the arterial circulation. However, when there is an ASD, a clot can cross from the right to the left side of the heart, then pass into the arteries as a paradoxical embolism. Once in the arterial circulation, a clot can travel to the brain, block a vessel there, and cause a stroke (cerebrovascular accident). Because of the risk of stroke from paradoxical embolism, it is usually recommended that even small ASDs be closed (repaired).|