What Is the Medical Term for a Hole in the Heart?

According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the medical term for a hole in the heart is "atrial septal defect," or ASD. Some, though not all, ASDs require medical treatment.

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute states that around 50 percent of ASDs eventually close by themselves, with around 20 percent closing within the first year of a child's life. Doctors close most ASDs using a catheter procedure instead of surgery. Some ASDs still require surgery to close, but medical advances have rendered surgery less common than it was until the early 1990s when it was the only available treatment option.