An atrioventricular (AV) canal defect is a rare heart defect. There is a large hole in the center of the heart that connects all four chambers.
The heart is made up of two upper chambers and two lower chambers. Usually, blood flows from the upper to lower chamber on the right side of the heart to the lungs. The blood picks up oxygen in the lungs and passes back into the upper chamber of the left side of the heart. It then passes to the lower chamber of the heart and out to the body.
An AV canal defect causes blood in the different chambers to mix. This means that some of the blood that is sent out to the body has not passed the lungs to pick up oxygen. The body does not get enough oxygen.
Atrioventricular canal defect. Boston Children's Hospital website. Available at: https://www.childrenshospital.org/conditions-and-treatments/conditions/a/atrioventricular-canal-defect/symptoms-and-causes. Accessed March 10, 2021.
Complete atrioventricular canal defect (CAVC). American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/CongenitalHeartDefects/AboutCongenitalHeartDefects/Complete-Atrioventricular-Canal-defect-CAVC_UCM_307023_Article.jsp. Accessed March 10, 2021.
Ventricular septal defect. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/ventricular-septal-defect. Accessed March 10, 2021.
Last reviewed December 2020 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board
Kari Kassir, MD
Last Updated: 3/10/2021
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