Before January 1987, 62 infants underwent two-patch repair of complete (51) or intermediate (11) atrioventricular septal defect at the Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne. Median age at repair was 4.3 months and median weight was 4.4 kg. Early deaths (3%) were confined to two infants with preoperative respiratory tract infections; a further two patients died during follow-up (late mortality rate 3%). Reoperation for severe postoperative mitral regurgitation was necessary in 10 infants (16%), two of whom subsequently required mitral valve replacement with a prosthesis. Preoperative atrioventricular valve regurgitation was assessed retrospectively in 49 patients from angiography or Doppler echocardiography and was found to be absent or mild in 33 (68%), moderate in 9 (18%), and severe in 7 (14%). At the time of latest review (at a mean of 2.4 years after repair), judged from a combination of clinical and echocardiographic criteria, mitral regurgitation was absent or mild in 49 (84%) of the 58 survivors; none of them had symptomatic regurgitation or were requiring continuing medical treatment. Analysis of sequential atrioventricular valve function in 46 of the 49 patients in whom objective preoperative data were available showed no relationship between the degree of preoperative and postoperative atrioventricular valve regurgitation. Infants without Down's syndrome, however, had a significantly higher reoperation rate for severe postoperative mitral valve regurgitation (50%) than those with Down's syndrome (10%) (p = 0.007). Complete atrioventricular septal defect can be repaired in early infancy with a low mortality rate and good intermediate term results.