Types of Congenital Heart Disease in Adults

Atrial Septal Defect (ASD)
An ASD is a hole between the heart's two upper chambers. It is one of the most common types of congenital heart defects. ASDs are present from birth, although symptoms usually do not appear until adulthood.

Smaller defects require no treatment. Larger defects can cause serious damage to the heart and lungs and lead to serious conditions, including heart failure and heart rhythm disorders.


Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD)
A VSD is a hole between the heart's lower two chambers. Most VSDs are present from birth. Some VSDs occur as a complication of a heart attack.

Not all VSDs require treatment. Larger defects can cause serious damage to the heart and lungs and lead to serious conditions such as congestive heart failure.


Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA)
A PDA is the persistence of the passage between aorta and the pulmonary artery, and is a normal structure in the fetus. After birth, this structure usually closes in most people. A small number of people reach adulthood before the discovery of a PDA.

Not all PDAs require treatment. Larger defects can cause serious damage to the heart and lungs and lead to serious conditions such as heart failure and heart rhythm disorders.


Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO)
A PFO is the persistence of the small passage between the heart's upper two chambers that is a normal structure prior to birth. It is very common - up to 1 in 4 people have a PFO. Unlike ASDs, a PFO is usually too small to lead to heart failure or heart rhythm disorders. However, PFO may be associated with a future risk of stroke in those who have had a stroke. Closure of PFO may reduce the risk of future stroke in some patients. There are other rare medical circumstances where closure of PFO may be of benefit.