Atrioventricular Canal Defect

Also known as: atrioventricular septal defects, endocardial cushion defects, ECD

What are atrioventricular canal defects?

As the heart is developing in the unborn fetus, it typically develops walls and valves between the four chambers. With atrioventricular canal defect, the walls and chambers do not fully develop, and blood can flow freely between these areas. This can lead to a variety of developmental problems.

What causes atrioventricular canal defects?

Atrioventricual canal defects are birth defects that occur very early on in the development of a fetus. The exact reason they occur is not known.

What are the symptoms of atrioventricular canal defects?

Symptoms can include failure of the baby to grow, rapid breathing and heartbeat, sweating, swelling, frequent infections, fatigue and a blue or pale color to the skin and lips.

What are atrioventricular canal defects care options?

Surgery is required to correct an atrioventricular canal defect. It might require more than one.


Reviewed by: Anthony F. Rossi, MD

This page was last updated on: 5/30/2019 2:34:14 PM


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The Heart Program at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital provides electrocardiogram (EKG) screenings to children and young adults in the community at no cost. The use of an EKG is critical to help diagnose asymptomatic heart defects that may not otherwise be detected in a routine physical exam. Learn more.