About UsPatient CareHeart information Center EducationResearchSupport The Texas Heart Institute
Heart Information Center
 
Atrioventricular Canal Defect
  Back to previous page
  En español

Atrioventricular Canal Defect
| Share

Canal defect (also known as atrioventricular septal defect or endocardial cushion defect) means there is a large hole in the septum. The septum is the wall that separates the right and left sides of the heart. A canal defect may be classified as partial or complete. In a partial canal defect, either the upper (atrial) or lower (ventricular) part of the septum may be affected. A complete canal defect, which is more common, means that the hole is located where the upper (atrial) and lower (ventricular) parts of the septum meet. 

Illustration showing canal defect.Normally, the tricuspid valve directs blood from the upper-right chamber (the right atrium) to the lower-right chamber (the right ventricle), and the mitral valve allows blood to move from the upper-left chamber (the left atrium) to the lower-left chamber (the left ventricle). But with complete canal defect, just one large hole and one valve are present, and the valve may not close all the way. This allows blood to flow in all directions inside the heart.

What are the symptoms?

Usually, the result is that too much blood flows to the lungs, and the heart becomes enlarged from working too hard. Infants with canal defect often have trouble breathing, and their bodies may not grow normally.

A canal defect is often associated with Down syndrome.

How is it treated?

Surgery is usually done in the first few months after birth to correct a complete canal defect. The hole may be closed with one or two patches, and the single valve is split into two, making a tricuspid valve and a mitral valve.

See also on this site: Congenital Heart Disease

See on other sites:

MedlinePlus
www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/imagepages/19877.htm
Atrioventricular canal (endocardial cushion defect)

American Heart Association 
www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/CongenitalHeartDefects/
AboutCongenitalHeartDefects/Complete-Atrioventricular-Canal-defect-CAVC_UCM_307023_Article.jsp
   
Complete Atrioventricular Canal defect (CAVC) with link to animation

Texas Adult Congenital Heart Center (TACH) program 
https://www.bcm.edu/healthcare/care-centers/congenital-heart enables patients with congenital heart disease to receive a seamless continuation of care from birth to old age. 
 


Updated December 2013
Top  
Texas Heart Institute Heart Information Center
Through this community outreach program, staff members of the Texas Heart Institute (THI) provide educational information related to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cardiovascular disease. It is not the intention of THI to provide specific medical advice, but rather to provide users with information to better understand their health and their diagnosed disorders. Specific medical advice will not be provided and THI urges you to visit a qualified physician for diagnosis and for answers to your questions.
Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Subscribe to us on YouTube Find Us on Flicikr Follow Us on Pinterest Add us on Google+

Please contact our Webmaster with questions or comments.
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
© Copyright 1996-2014 Texas Heart Institute.
All rights reserved.
This website is accredited by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. U.S. NEWS America's Best Hospitals 2013-14