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. The condition is often associated with Down syndrome. Atrioventricular canal defect allows extra blood to flow to the lungs. Untreated, atrioventricular canal defect can cause heart failure and high blood pressure in the lungs.
VSDs are the most common congenital heart defect in children, occurring in 50% of all children with congenital heart disease and in 20% as an isolated lesion.The incidence of VSDs has increased significantly with advances in imaging and screening of infants and ranges from 1.56 to 53.2 per 1,000 live births. The ease with which small muscular VSDs can now be detected has contributed to this increase in incidence.In the adult population VSDs are the most common congenital heart defect, excluding bicuspid aortic valve.
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).