Atrioventricular Septal Defect Diagnosis
- What It Is
- Risk Factors
- Living With
- User Questions
- Alternative Treatment
- Care Guide
- Questions for Your Doctor
- When to Contact a Doctor
- Find a Doctor
- Resource Guide
How to Diagnose Atrioventricular Septal Defect
The best way to diagnose an atrioventricular septal defect is an echocardiogram , a test that uses high-frequency sound waves (ultrasound) to examine the size, shape, and motion of the heart.
Many times the diagnosis can be made before the baby is born. A doctor will also listen for a heart murmur, although a murmur is not always predictive of the size of the defect. The doctor will analyze the level of oxygen in the blood, conduct an electrocardiogram (a test that records the heart's activity by measuring electrical currents through the heart muscle), and take a 2-D echocardiogram of the heart.
The doctor may use a catheter to test the blood pressure of the artery leading from the heart to the lungs to find out if the blood is flowing at a normal or faster than normal pace, indicating that the heart has to work harder than usual. A chest x-ray can by used to check the size of the heart.