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What Is a Ventricular Septal Aneurysm?

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  • Written By: Jennifer Long
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 30 July 2014
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A ventricular septal aneurysm is a type of cardiac aneurysm. This type of aneurysm occurs when there is a bulge or balloon pouch formed in the ventricular septum. One of these aneurysms could be a result of a congenital condition, such as ventricular septal defect, or as a result of heart trauma, such as a heart attack.

The ventricular septum is the wall of tissue that divides the left and right sections of the heart, called the ventricles. This wall is comprised of the inferior muscular section and the superior membranous portion. In cases of ventricular septal defect, it is more common for older children and adults to have problems in the membranous section.

Ventricular septal defect generally occurs most often in the muscular section of the septal wall. A septal aneurysm, however, can occur in the apical, anterior, posterior, or midventrical areas of the ventricular septal wall. In some cases, an aneurysm can be in multiple parts of the wall.

Congenital ventricular septal aneurysm is present at birth. Symptoms will usually appear within a few weeks after birth. The main symptom with this defect is some type of heart murmur. Infants may also have rapid breathing, especially during feeding.

A ventricular septal aneurysm should not be confused with an atrial septal aneurysm. An atrial septal aneurysm is also formed as a bulge or balloon within tissue. The difference is that the aneurysm occurs in the atrial septum. This wall is located in between the upper chambers of the heart.

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It is important to be able to identify the signs and symptoms of a ventricular septal aneurysm before the aneurysm ruptures and causes massive bleeding. Cardiac insufficiency is the main symptom of an aneurysm because blood flow is reduced due to the bulging area. A recurring irregular heartbeat is another sign. Someone with an aneurysm may also experience a series of blood clots throughout the body.

If a cardiologist suspects there is a ventricular septal aneurysm, a magnetic resonance angiogram (MRA) is performed. An MRA is a type of imaging test that uses a contrast dye and radio pulse waves to get pictures of the heart and arteries. An aneurysm will appear in these pictures.

Initial treatment for a ventricular septal aneurysm usually involves surgery, particularly when an irregular heart beat or life-threatening complications arise. A surgeon will remove the aneurysm and close the septal wall. The patient will be required to limit all activity and be retested to check the healing process.

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Discuss this Article

anon934284
Post 7

Does anyone know where I could find more info about this? My partner has it and I just found out and I am terribly worried. Thank you so much.

anon235917
Post 6

I have had a congenital VSA throughout my life. I am now 48. I had problems with arrhythmia twice since 2002 but have avoided electro version so far, thank the Lord. It's no wonder I was under average in PE and sports but never knew why. The doctors tell me to avoid too much caffeine and live a healthy lifestyle, which helps.

I hope to live a long life, by God's grace, but there is a chance of stroke from clotting. I was tested for small leaks in the wall, and I have some. This means I must never allow air to enter my bloodstream (normally filtered by lungs but in my case can escape to the brain). I am able to do normal activities. I have a wife and three kids. It is a rare condition but I hope this helps someone else out there. -T

Oceana
Post 5

@OeKc05 – I will soon be undergoing the same type of surgery as your friend. I also have been having a strange heartbeat, and I'm glad I thought it worth mentioning to my doctor, because he said it could easily be fatal.

One symptom I have had has bothered me more than my irregular heartbeat, though. When I'm sleeping, I sometimes stop breathing. I wake up in a panic, gasping for a breath.

This happens several times a night. At first, I thought maybe it was sleep apnea, but now I know better.

I have a close friend who will be there for me in the hospital and during my recovery. I will be as grateful to him as I'm sure your friend was to you for your support. It's very important during life and death situations to have someone to lean on.

OeKc05
Post 4

Knowing that someone you love has a ventricular septal aneurysm is so scary. My best friend went to a cardiologist after she noticed how erratic her heartbeat had become, and he told her that she needed emergency surgery.

Her boss was great about allowing her time off and reserving her position for her. He knew that it would take quite awhile for her to be able to function normally again, and he hired a temp to do her job in the meantime.

She could not do much of anything after the surgery. Her heart was fragile, and it had to have time to heal properly before it could have any stress placed on it.

I was afraid during her surgery that the aneurysm might rupture and bleed. I was also afraid every day during her recovery that something could go wrong. She healed as expected, though, and I feel so much relief.

shell4life
Post 3

It's so tragic when people let the high cost of health care keep them from getting an exam when they suspect something is wrong. My aunt had no health insurance, so she didn't go to a doctor about her irregular heartbeat.

She would get winded from doing even easy activities, like bending over to pick up a pair of pants and carrying them to the hamper. She noticed that her heart was skipping beats at times, and she had a sense of foreboding about it all.

She died suddenly of a ventricular septal aneurysm. She was only thirty years old, and she left behind a husband and two children.

jlong
Post 2

Unfortunately, there are many instances that can cause this condition to appear as something else, both serious and normal. With small children and infants, it can be particularly difficult to catch the simplest of problems and sometimes things are not diagnosed, or even misdiagnosed. Your neighbor could not have known that such a serious condition was present without comprehensive testing.

orangey03
Post 1

My neighbor's baby had a ventricular septal aneurysm. They had noticed that the baby had been breathing fast while feeding, but they just thought he was happy about eating. They didn't know it was anything to be concerned about.

One morning, they just found him dead in his crib. The autopsy showed that he had experienced an aneurysm and bled to death internally.

Even though it's not her fault, the mother blames herself for not noticing the signs. She will never recover from this, and it's very unfortunate. She could not have known the difference between being eager to eat and having cardiac problems.

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