For both atrial and ventricular septal defects, echocardiography or ultrasonography of the heart is conducted to verify the diagnosis and determine the size and location of the defect and any associated enlargement of heart chambers. ECG will also reveal if other heart defects are present, typically done in infants. ECG may show signs that one or more heart chambers are enlarged. 


The mode of treatment depends on the type and size of the defect and whether it is causing life-threatening symptoms. Sometimes drugs, a plug or other specialized device is inserted through a catheter to block the hole.

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