What is an open oval window in the heart of a child – types and signs of an atrial septal defect in a newborn

Causes and symptoms of an open oval window in the heart of a newbornEvery parent wishes the very best health for their child. But sometimes even the most scrupulous and attentive attitude of the expectant mother to herself cannot save her from problems: alas, science has not yet been able to reveal the causes of all diseases, many of which are taken “out of nowhere.”

The diagnosis “oval open window”, of course, scares young parents – but is it really so scary?

The content of the article:

  1. What is an open oval window?
  2. Causes of the anomaly
  3. Shapes and degrees of an open oval window
  4. Signs and symptoms of an open oval window in the heart
  5. All risks of a defect – forecast

What is an open oval window in the heart of a newborn?

As you know, the process of blood circulation in an unborn baby does not proceed in the same way as in us – in adults.

Throughout the entire period in the womb, “fetal” structures, including the venous / aortic ducts, as well as the oval window, work in the crumbs’ cardiovascular system. Considering that the fetus’s lungs do not take part in the work of saturating the blood with the necessary oxygen before birth, it cannot do without these structures.

What is the task of the oval window?

  • When the baby is in the womb, blood, already enriched with oxygen, goes directly into the baby’s body through the umbilical veins. One vein leads to the liver, the other to the inferior vena cava.
  • Further, 2 blood streams enter the right atrium, and already from it, due to the work of the oval window, the lion’s share of the blood goes to the left atrium.
  • All the remaining blood is directed to the pulmonary artery, and through this aortic duct, the “remainder” of the blood is dropped directly into the systemic circulation.
  • Further, after the baby’s first breath, the pressure in the vessels of his lungs increases, and the main task of the oval window is leveled.
Oval window in the heart of a newborn
Fetal circulation diagram – physiological open oval window in the heart

That is, the valve covering the left ventricular window matures only for childbirth, and with increasing blood pressure (after the opening of the lungs) in the left atrium, the window closes.

Further, the valve should heal directly with the walls of the interatrial septum.

Alas, this process is not fast, and fusion can take up to 5 years, but in most cases fusion still occurs within 1 year of a child’s life. If the size of the valve is insufficient to close the opening, they speak of an “open oval window” (approx. – OOO) in a newborn.

Open oval window in the heart of a newborn baby
Open oval window in the heart of a newborn baby


LLC is not an ASD (note – atrial septal defect) and has absolutely nothing to do with heart disease. The oval window is only a small anomaly in the development of an organ such as the heart, which is, rather, an individual feature of the organism.

That is, LLC is the norm when …

  1. It closed before 5 years.
  2. Its size does not exceed the norm.
  3. It does not manifest itself and does not interfere with life in general.

Video: Window oval and ductus arteriosus

All causes of atrial septal defect in newborns – who is at risk?

As noted above, LLC is not a defect, but a minor anomaly, and babies with such a diagnosis belong to health group B.

And even for an adult young man, LLC is not an obstacle to military service.

But for every mother, of course, such a diagnosis is alarming, and I want to understand what is the reason, and whether it is dangerous.

Unfortunately, medicine does not give an exact answer – the true causal factors are not yet known to science.

But the risk factors that provoke the emergence of LLC still exist:

  • Heredity. If there are relatives with this diagnosis in the family, then the risk of OO in the child increases significantly.
  • The presence of heart defects – or other diseases of the cardiovascular system.
  • The use of nicotine, alcohol – or other prohibited substances in the process of carrying a baby.
  • Taking pillsnot recommended during pregnancy.
  • Diabetes mellitus in mom.
  • Prematurity of the baby.
  • Environmental factor.
  • Severe stress in a pregnant woman.
  • Disproportionate growth of the baby and heart valve.
  • Toxic poisoning future mother.

The shape and degree of anomaly – an open oval window in the heart of a child

An anomaly such as an oval open window is classified mainly by the size of the hole:

  1. Smaller sizes are said to be small… Such an anomaly, as a rule, is not terrible, and the doctor does not issue any special recommendations if it is present.
  2. At 5-7 mm, they speak of an average size. The abnormality is usually found on echocardiography. This option is considered hemodynamically insignificant, and it manifests itself only with increasing physical activity.
  3. With a size of 10 mm (the window can reach 20 mm), they speak of a “gaping” window and its complete non-closing. In this case, the anomaly is a very wide opening, and according to clinical signs there are practically no differences from ASD – except that with a defect in the MPP, the valve is anatomically absent.

Signs and symptoms of an open oval window in a child’s heart – how to recognize a pathology?

As a rule, an oval open window does not manifest itself at all, and does not have any special signs – such as, for example, a cough with bronchitis. But it can be easily detected by a doctor during auscultation by “noise”.

Among the external manifestations for which LLC can be suspected, they note:

  • Blue nasolabial triangle. This symptom is especially manifested when the baby screams, defecates or coughs.
  • Weak sucking reflex.
  • Frequent colds.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Fast fatiguability.
  • No weight gain.
  • Frequent regurgitation.
  • Lagging in physical development.
  • Murmur in the heart.

It is clear that these signs are typical for other diseases. An examination is indispensable, and a diagnosis cannot be made based on these symptoms alone.

Video: Open oval window with ultrasound examination of the heart

In addition, the anomaly can exist in the heart for many years, completely asymptomatic.

All risks of an atrial septal anomaly in a child – prognosis

Usually, when the child is in a calm state, this anomaly does not manifest itself in any way – a blood supply failure occurs at the time of increased physical activity.

Particular attention should be paid to the child in the following cases …

  1. Valve growth is much slower than that of the heart muscle.
  2. The oval window is fully open.
  3. There are diseases of the cardiovascular system or respiratory system (all pathological processes can affect the increase in pressure and the opening of the hole).

Among the consequences of an open oval window, requiring urgent medical intervention, experts distinguish:

  • Blood clots.
  • Heart attack / stroke.
  • Failure in the blood circulation of the brain due to the development of hypertension.

Doctors are in no hurry to make such a diagnosis in early childhood, because you can definitely talk about an open oval window – and worry – only after the onset 5 years of age the patient.

If the size of the LLC is no more than 5 mm, experts give a favorable forecast. As for the larger size, it is (in most cases) subject to surgical correction.

All information on the site is for informational purposes only, and is not a guide to action. An accurate diagnosis can only be made by a doctor.
The site earnestly asks you not to self-medicate, but to make an appointment with a specialist!
Health to you and your loved ones!

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