Guide To The Causes Of Heart Murmurs

Septal Defects

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The septa are the heart muscle walls that separate the left side and right side of the heart. A septal defect is a hole in the septa that allows blood flow between both the left and right sides of the heart. Septal defects can be present in the septa that separate the left and right atria of the heart, in the septa separating the left and right ventricles of the heart, or in both. 

Most septal defects produce a shunting of blood from the left to the right side, which means blood that has already circulated through the lungs is forced back into the lungs. The abnormal flow of blood through an affected individual's heart due to a septal defect often causes an extra sound that can be heard with a stethoscope. An individual's heart murmur can vary in numerous characteristics depending on the exact location, size, and shape of the septal defect.

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