Atrioventricular Canal Defect

Atrioventricular Canal Defect

It is complex defect which involved the center of heart. In this condition there is a hole in between the heart’s chamber and issues with valve function which regulate the blood flow. It is a congenital defect and also known as endocardial cushion defect. Atrioventricular canal defect may associate with other chromosomal abnormality like down syndrome.


It may involve the all four chambers of heart(complete) or only two upper chambers of heart(partial). In both types there is a problem that increase amount of blood flow toward the lungs. Signs and symptoms of atrioventricular defects include:

  • WheezingAtrioventricular defect Symptoms Treatment
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weight loss
  • Pale skin color
  • Arrythmias
  • Increase sweating
  • Cyanosis
  • Edema in lower extremities
  • High blood pressure
  • Pulmonary hypertension

The exact cause of the atrioventricular defect is not known yet but it may b assumed that certain environmental and genetic factors play a huge role in the development of congenital heart defects like chromosomal abnormalities may also associated with heart defects.


Complications include:

  • Pulmonary hypertension due to the mixing of oxygenated and deoxygenated blood which increase the blood supply towards the lungs.
  • It may lead to the recurrent infection of respiratory tract.
  • Heart failure
  • Enlargement of heart due to the increase blood flow through the heart.

It might be diagnosis during the prenatal checkup through the ultrasound. After birth your doctor may recommend the following test to confirm the diagnosis and rule out the other causes of these signs and symptoms:

  • Chest x-ray. To check the size of heart
  • To see the heart images through the sound waves.
  • To check the electrical activity of heart

Treatment involved the surgery to repair the hole between the septum with one or two patches. Patches will remain in the heart permanently for the life as the heart septum. After surgery certain medication may prescribed to prevent the infection around the patches like immunosuppressant drugs and antibiotics.

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