What Is the Function of the Septum in the Heart?
The primary function of the septum in the heart, also known as the ventricular septum, is to separate the two sides of the heart. This is an important function since the right side of the heart carries oxygen-poor blood from the extremities to the heart, and the left side of the heart oxygenates the blood and passes it through the veins. Without the septum, the blood cannot be oxygenated correctly.
The septum in the heart is divided into two parts: the septum that separates the atria and the ventricular septum that divides the ventricles of the heart. The septum is made up of thick muscle tissue that starts at the lower end of the heart and passes up through the pulmonary artery and aorta.
Atrial septal defect is the most common medical condition that affects the septum of the heart. This condition is caused by a hole in the septum that allows oxygenated blood to mix with de-oxygenated blood. This condition can result in a number of serious conditions, including heart failure, arrhythmia, stroke and pulmonary hypertension; however, surgical repair is possible in most cases of atrial septal defect.
Babies born with congenital heart defects are more prone to developing atrial septal defect. This condition is also caused by a number of factors, such as the health of the mother during pregnancy. In addition, nearly half of all babies born with Down syndrome have atrial septal defect.