Atrioventricular canal defect is a combination of several abnormalities in the heart present at birth (congenital abnormalities). This defect, which is sometimes called endocardial cushion defect or atrioventricular septal defect, occurs when there's a hole between the chambers of the heart and problems with the valves that regulate blood flow in the heart.
Atrioventricular canal defect allows extra blood to circulate to the lungs. Ensuing problems overwork the heart and cause it to enlarge.
Atrioventricular canal defect is often associated with Down syndrome. If left untreated, atrioventricular canal defect may cause heart failure and high blood pressure in the lungs. To fix this defect, doctors often recommend surgery during the first year of life to close the hole and reconstruct the valves.
Sept. 12, 2012
- Atrioventricular septal defect. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/print/pediatrics/congenital_cardiovascular_anomalies/atrioventricular_septal_defect.html. Accessed July 26, 2012.
- Atrioventricular canal defect. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/CongenitalHeartDefects/AboutCongenitalHeartDefects/Complete-Atrioventricular-Canal-defect-CAVC_UCM_307023_Article.jsp. Accessed July 26, 2012.
- Atz AM, et al. Surgical management of complete atrioventricular septal defect: Associations with surgical technique, age, and trisomy 21. Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery. 2011;141:1371.
- Miller A, et al. Long term survival of infants with atrioventricular septal defects. Journal of Pediatrics. 2010;156:994.
- Warnes CA, et al. ACC/AHA 2008 guidelines for the management of adults with congenital heart disease. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 2008;52:e143.
- Living with a congenital heart defect. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/chd/livingwith.html. Accessed July 26, 2012.
- Rasiah SV, et al. Outcome following prenatal diagnosis of complete atrioventricular septal defect. Prenatal Diagnosis. 2008;28:95.