Gerbode Ventricular Septal Defect

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A Gerbode defect is a ventricular septal defect communicating directly between the left ventricle and right atrium. This is anatomically possible because the normal tricuspid valve is more apically displaced than the mitral valve. The large systolic pressure gradient between the left ventricle and the right atrium would expectedly result in an unmistakeable high velocity three-to-four meter per second systolic Doppler flow signal in the right atrial cavity.

One diagnostic echocardiographic pitfall is the mistaken diagnosis of a Gerbode defect in a patient with the more common membranous ventricular septal defect. The flow from left ventricle to right ventricle can continue ("blow-through") into the right atrium as a regurgitant jet.

Conversely, since a true Gerbode Ventricular septal defect creates a high velocity systolic jet in the right atrium - this can suggest the mistaken echocardiographic diagnosis of severe pulmonary hypertension.


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The contents and links on this page were last verified in December 2017 by Dr. Olga Shindler.