Haemodynamically insignificant left-to-right shunts are frequently discovered when screening for congenital heart disease, resulting in significant economic and psychosocial impact.
A literature search was performed within the National Library of Medicine using the keywords small/insignificant/silent atrial septal defect (ASD), ventricular septal defect (VSD), patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) and patent foramen ovale (PFO). The search was refined by adding the keywords definition, classification and follow-up.
Our analysis revealed significant heterogeneity in the evaluation and management of innocent left-to-right shunts. The definitions for small defects vary greatly, making it difficult to distinguish between physiologic and pathologic lesions (eg, a PFO vs a true ASD). Most small defects will partially or completely resolve spontaneously early in life. If spontaneous resolution does not occur, the risk for long-term complications (such as embolic events and endocarditis) is low but poses several practical and ethical issues: immediate discharge versus long-term follow-up, duration and frequency of follow-up, and content and method of discussions with the parents. Additionally, there is controversy pertaining to treatment for PDAs and VSDs, particularly among interventional cardiologists, even though risk/benefit analyses are lacking.
Standards and guidelines using consensus opinion for the management of insignificant left-to-right shunts are needed to address the heterogeneity in diagnosis and management as well as use of resources, ethical and psychosocial issues.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.