Atrioventricular Septal Defects: Pathology, Imaging, and Treatment Options

Curr Cardiol Rep. 2021 Jul 1;23(8):93. doi: 10.1007/s11886-021-01523-1.


Purpose of review: Atrioventricular septal defects (AVSD) represent a broad spectrum of congenital anomalies from simple to the most complex heart defects including some distinct types. Clinical presentation and timing of intervention differ by morphological subset and functional anatomy. Herein, we review morphological variations and characteristics that determine appropriate intervention and provide insights into functional anatomy based on detailed three-dimensional (3D) assessment of AVSDs.

Recent findings: The understanding of functional morphology of AVSDs has improved significantly with detailed 3D echocardiographic evaluation of the atrioventricular junction and valve morphology. As prenatal detection of AVSDs has increased significantly, it has become the most common fetal cardiac diagnosis enabling antenatal counseling and delivery planning. Advances in diagnosis and perioperative care have resulted in optimal outcomes. The diagnosis and management of AVSDs have improved over the years with enhanced understanding of anatomy and perioperative care resulting in optimal short and long-term outcomes.

Keywords: ACHD; Atrioventricular septal defect; Congenital heart disease; Down syndrome; Pediatric.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diagnostic Imaging
  • Echocardiography, Three-Dimensional*
  • Female
  • Heart Septal Defects* / diagnostic imaging
  • Heart Septal Defects* / surgery
  • Heart Septal Defects, Atrial* / diagnostic imaging
  • Heart Septal Defects, Atrial* / surgery
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy

Supplementary concepts

  • Atrioventricular Septal Defect