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Arial Septal Defect (ASD)
Etiology

Unknown in > 90% of cases. Identifiable chromosomal abnormalities in 5% of cases, i.e. trisomies 18 & 21.
Clear that etiology not entirely genetic, since only one of monozygotic twins may develop an anomaly, and rubella in the mother during the first trimester leads to congenital heart disease (CHD) and a variety of defects in other systems, including immunodeficiencies.
Definite evidence of radiation, and chemicals also being etiologic factors.
Pathogenesis

Septum primum, septum secundum, and the sinus venosus are involved anlagen in three types of defects.
Failure of S. primum to form completely results in a low ASD adjoining AV valve.
Failure of normally partially formed S. secundum to reach antero-inferiorly far enough, &/or excessive S. primum resorption results in fossa ovalis ASD's.
Primitive sinus venosus contributes to atrial walls, septum, ostia of superior and inferior vena cavas and pulmonary veins.
Defects form high or low in septum near V. cava ostia.,
Epidemiology

ASD found in 5% of all cases of CHD.
CHD most common form of heart disease in childhood.
Incidence is 6-8/1000 live full term births.
Incidence higher in stillborns and premature births.
90% of ASD's are of the septum secundum type, and 5% of the septum primum type.
General Gross Description

Septum primum defects are adjacent to AV valve ring, antero-inferior to fossa ovalis.
Septum secundum defects form within the fossa ovalis or along its superior margin if S. secundum development is incomplete.
Sinus venosus defects are located immediately adjacent to the ostia of the superior or inferior vena cavas, and are often associated with anomalies of pulmonary venous drainage into the right atrium or superior vena cava.
•Examples:
Cribiform Atrial Septal Defect Cribiform Atrial Septal Defect
General Microscopic Description

Individual layers of involved structures are histologically normal.
•Examples:
References

Cotran RS et. al.: Robbins Pathologic Basis of Disease. 5th edition. Philadelphia, W.B. Saunders, 1994, pp. 573-4.
Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 13th Edition: Isselbach et. al. (eds). New York, McGraw-Hill, 1994, pp. 1040-1.

For Most Current Information Search Medline at National Library of Medicine
This link will directly take you to the relevant new literature
Arial Septal Defect (ASD)
Synopsis by: J. Hasson, MD (T32000M20000)[329]
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