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.
All 572 cases of CHD reported in the Eurocat Registry of Vaud-Switzerland between 1.5.2003 and 31.12.2008 were analysed and compared with the cases in our clinical database. The prenatal detection rates increased significantly between 2003 and 2008, with a mean detection rate of 25.2%. There was a significantly higher rate of prenatal diagnosis in the first four groups of CHD severity, with the highest detection rate (87.5%) found in the group with the most severe CHD.
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).