Atrioventricular Canal

AV canal, or atrioventricular canal, is a condition characterized by a group of related abnormalities of the heart. These defects include: atrial septal defect (ASD), ventricular septal defect (VSD), and malformed atrioventricular (AV) valves. Normally, the atrial and ventricular septums (walls) divide the left and right heart. In AV canal, these septums are malformed allowing blood to flow from the left chambers of the heart into the right chambers of the heart. There is also a virtually single, complex AV valve spanning the defect. In the normal heart, there are two separate AV valves (the mitral valve and the tricuspid valve) between the atria and ventricles. This condition can be surgically corrected. The atrial and ventricular septal defects are repaired with a patch. The single AV valve is separated into right and left components and the valves are reconstructed. The separated valves are attached to the patch. The left AV valve (the mitral valve) is partially closed with sutures to reduce regurgitation or leakage.


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