DefinitionBy Mayo Clinic Staff
Atrioventricular canal defect is a combination of heart problems resulting in a defect in the center of the heart. The condition occurs when there's a hole between the heart's chambers and problems with the valves that regulate blood flow in the heart.
Sometimes called endocardial cushion defect or atrioventricular septal defect, atrioventricular canal defect is present at birth (congenital). The condition is often associated with Down syndrome.
Atrioventricular canal defect allows extra blood to flow to the lungs. The extra blood forces the heart to overwork, causing the heart muscle to enlarge.
Untreated, atrioventricular canal defect can cause heart failure and high blood pressure in the lungs. Doctors generally recommend surgery during the first year of life to close the hole in the heart and to reconstruct the valves.
Aug. 14, 2015
- Fleishman CE, et al. Clinical manifestations, pathophysiology, and diagnosis of atrioventricular (AV) canal defects. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 3, 2015.
- Bonow RO, et al. Congenital heart disease. In: Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 10th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 201t. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed June 3, 2015.
- Fleishman CE, et al. Management and outcome of atrioventricular (AV) canal defects. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 3, 2015.
- What are holes in the heart? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/holes. Accessed June 4, 2015.
- Martin RJ, et al. Genetic and environmental contributions to congenital heart disease. In: Fanaroff and Martin's Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine. 10th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.; Saunders Elsevier; 2015.
- AskMayoExpert. What other conditions are associated with ventricular septal defect (VSD)? Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2014.
- Backer CL. Modified single patch: Are we still worried about subaortic stenosis? Annals of Thoracic Surgery. 2015;99:1671.
- Creasy RK, et al. Fetal cardiac malformations and arrhythmias. In: Creasy and Resnik's Maternal-Fetal Medicine: Principles and Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2014.
- The impact of congenital heart defects. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/CongenitalHeartDefects/TheImpactofCongenitalHeartDefects/The-Impact-of-Congenital-Heart-Defects_UCM_001218_Article.jsp. American Heart Association. Accessed June 7, 2015.