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Sinus Venosus Atrial Septal Defect

  Case radiograph

Contributor: Stephen Marshalko, MD PhD

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Sino-septal defects refer to those that involve the area of the atrial septum derived from the sinus venosus. Most commonly this includes defects that occur at the junction of the superior vena cava and the right atrium, although these defects may also occur at the junction of the inferior vena cava and the right atrium.

The right upper pulmonary veins typically enter the left atrium superiorly and just to the left of the atrial septum and sinus venosus region. When a defect of the superior sinus venosus exists, the flow from these veins may be directed toward the right atrium through the sinus venosus defect. Alternatively, these veins may truly be anomalous in their drainage and enter the right atrium directly. These defects are known as sinus venosus defects.

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