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 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.
The most frequently occurring conditions were ventricular septal defects (VSDs) (33%), ostium secundum atrial septal defects (18%) and pulmonary valve abnormalities (10%). In this study, 4% of the children died. The actuarial survival at 6 months and 1 year of age was 97% and 96%, respectively and remained stable after then. Compared to other heart defects, mortality was higher in univentricular physiology,pulmonary atresia with VSD, left ventricle outflow obstruction and tetralogy of Fallot.
Patients with incomplete atrioventricular septal defects (AVSDs) present with signs and symptoms similar to those of secundum atrial septal defects (ASDs) and, as such, rarely require medical therapy. Medical therapy in patients with complete atrioventricular septal defects consists of aggressive anticongestive treatment for the signs and symptoms of congestive heart failure (CHF). The mainstays of medical therapy are furosemide (for diuresis for the volume-overloaded heart), digoxin (as a mild inotrope), and ACE inhibitors (for afterload reduction).