JOHN BAVOSI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN BAVOSI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Illustration of a ventricular hole in the heart. This hole in the septum between the two ventricles is a heart abnormality developed before birth (congenital). Below centre, the hole can be seen between column-like papillary muscles and tendons (upper centre) of a heart valve. The outer cardiac muscle is at lower right. This defect in the sep- tum that separates the ventricles causes blood to mix. Deoxygenated blood meant for the lungs may go to the body, while oxygenated blood may go back to the lungs. This is called "shunting". Such heart defects are diagnosed on an x-ray, ECG, or echo cardiogram. It is usually a treatable defect resulting from errors of development in the fetus.
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