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Pathophysiology of left-to-right shunts

Grace C Kung, MD
John K Triedman, MD
Section Editor
David R Fulton, MD
Deputy Editor
Carrie Armsby, MD, MPH


In conditions with left-to-right shunt, blood from the systemic arterial circulation mixes with systemic venous blood. Multiple factors influence the extent of flow through the shunt and its physiologic effects.

The pathophysiology of left-to-right shunts is reviewed here. The evaluation and management of specific cardiac lesions are discussed separately, including:

Atrial level shunts (see "Classification of atrial septal defects (ASDs), and clinical features and diagnosis of isolated ASDs in children" and "Identification and assessment of atrial septal defects in adults" and "Patent foramen ovale" and "Partial anomalous pulmonary venous connection" and "Total anomalous pulmonary venous connection")

Ventricular level shunts (see "Pathophysiology and clinical features of isolated ventricular septal defects in infants and children" and "Ventricular septal defect in adults" and "Pathophysiology, clinical features, and diagnosis of tetralogy of Fallot")

Patent ductus arteriosus (see "Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of patent ductus arteriosus in term infants, children, and adults" and "Pathophysiology, clinical manifestations, and diagnosis of patent ductus arteriosus in premature infants")

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Sep 06, 2017.
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