Although the exact cause of atrioventricular canal defect is unknown, several factors may increase the risk of a congenital heart defect, such as:

  • Down syndrome in the baby. Down syndrome is a genetic condition resulting from an extra 21st chromosome.
  • German measles (rubella) or another viral illness during early pregnancy.
  • Having a parent who had a congenital heart defect.
  • Drinking alcohol during pregnancy.
  • Poorly controlled diabetes during pregnancy.
  • Taking some types of medications during pregnancy. Check with your doctor before taking any drugs while you're pregnant and even when you're trying to get pregnant.
Sept. 12, 2012

You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.