The definition and classification of ventricular septal defects have been fraught with controversy. The International Society for Nomenclature of Paediatric and Congenital Heart Disease is a group of international specialists in pediatric cardiology, cardiac surgery, cardiac morphology, and cardiac pathology that has met annually for the past 9 years in an effort to unify by consensus the divergent approaches to describe ventricular septal defects. These efforts have culminated in acceptance of the classification system by the World Health Organization into the 11th Iteration of the International Classification of Diseases. The scheme to categorize a ventricular septal defect uses both its location and the structures along its borders, thereby bridging the two most popular and disparate classification approaches and providing a common language for describing each phenotype. Although the first-order terms are based on the geographic categories of central perimembranous, inlet, trabecular muscular, and outlet defects, inlet and outlet defects are further characterized by descriptors that incorporate the borders of the defect, namely the perimembranous, muscular, and juxta-arterial types. The Society recognizes that it is equally valid to classify these defects by geography or borders, so the emphasis in this system is on the second-order terms that incorporate both geography and borders to describe each phenotype. The unified terminology should help the medical community describe with better precision all types of ventricular septal defects.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine