Atrioventricular Septal Defect

(Atrioventricular Canal Defect; Endocardial Cushion Defect)

Definition

The heart is divided into 4 chambers that help circulate blood through the body. The top 2 chambers are called atria. The bottom 2 chambers are called ventricles. 2 valves are between the upper and lower chambers. Tissue called the septum divides the chambers. The tissue grows as the fetus develops.An atrioventricular septal defect is present at birth. It occurs when any of the tissues that divide the septum do not grow completely. This leaves 1 or more holes. It may also leave 1 leaky valve instead of 2 separate valves.

Causes

This condition is caused when the septal tissue fails to grow correctly as the fetus develops in the womb.
Ventricular Septal Defect
Ventral septal defect
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Risk Factors

Risk factors that increase the chance that a baby will be born with a ventricular septal defect include:
  • A family history of heart defects
  • Down syndrome
  • Alcohol consumption or drug abuse by the mother during pregnancy
  • A mother with diabetes
  • Rubella infection during the first 3 months of pregnancy
  • Exposure to thalidomide, anticonvulsant medications, or lithium salts while in the womb
  • Exposure to certain industrial chemicals during pregnancy

Symptoms

Symptoms include:
  • Difficulty feeding
  • Failing to gain weight
  • Difficulty breathing, especially during feeding
  • Sweating
  • A bluish tint to lips and fingernails
  • Pale skin
  • Lack of appetite
  • Swollen legs or abdomen—rare in children

leave comments
0
Did you like this? Share with your family and friends.
Related Topics:
Current Research From Top Journals


Chewing Gum After Surgery May Improve Digestive Tract Recovery
April 2015

A systematic review found that participants given chewing gum after abdominal surgery may have a faster return to normal for their digestive system. Unfortunately, the quality of trials is low and more research will need to be done before this simple solution is confirmed.

dot separator
previous editions

Early Peanut Consumption Associated with Lower Risk of Peanut Allergy in High Risk Children
March 2015

Breastfeeding May Decrease the Risk of Childhood Obesity
February 2015

Tonsillectomy May Reduce Number of Sore Throat Days in Children
February 2015

dashed separator

Advertisement

Our Free Newsletter
click here to see all of our uplifting newsletters »

 

Advertisement

Advertisement

DiggDeliciousNewsvineRedditStumbleTechnoratiFacebook