Search for a rare disease
Other search option(s)
Complete atrioventricular canal
Complete atrioventricular canal (CAVC), also referred to as complete atrioventricular septal defect, is characterized by an ostium primum atrial septal defect, a common atrioventricular valve and a variable deficiency of the ventricular septum inflow.
- Common atrioventricular canal
- Complete atrioventricular septal defect
- Prevalence: Unknown
- Inheritance: Not applicable
- Age of onset: Infancy, Neonatal
- ICD-10: Q21.2
- OMIM: -
- UMLS: C0221215 C0344787
- MeSH: -
- GARD: 1454
- MedDRA: -
CAVC is an uncommon congenital heart disease, accounting for about 3% of cardiac malformations. Atrioventricular canal occurs in two out of every 10,000 live births. Both sexes are equally affected and a striking association with Down syndrome was found.
Depending on the morphology of the superior leaflet of the common atrioventricular valve, 3 types of CAVC have been delineated (type A, B and C, according to Rastelli's classification). CAVC results in a significant interatrial and interventricular systemic-to-pulmonary shunt, thus inducing right ventricular pressure and volume overload and pulmonary hypertension. It becomes symptomatic in infancy due to congestive heart failure and failure to thrive.
Diagnosis of CAVC might be suspected from electrocardiographic and chest X-ray findings. Echocardiography confirms it and gives anatomical details.
Management and treatment
Over time, pulmonary hypertension becomes irreversible, thus precluding the surgical therapy. This is the reason why cardiac catheterization is not mandatory in infants (less than 6 months) but is indicated in older patients if irreversible pulmonary hypertension is suspected. Medical treatment (digitalis, diuretics, vasodilators) plays a role only as a bridge toward surgery, usually performed between the 3rd and 6th month of life.