Echo-morphological correlates in patients with atrioventricular septal defect and common atrioventricular junction.

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It is now well recognized that patients fulfilling the diagnostic criterions for the group of hearts usually described as atrioventricular canal malformations, or atrioventricular septal defects, can present with shunting at atrial level, at both atrial and ventricular levels, and on occasion, with shunting only at ventricular level.1,2 It is also well recognized that, in most instances, the patients with shunting exclusively at atrial level have separate atrioventricular valvar orifices for the right and left ventricles, this arrangement often described as the “ostium primum” variant of atrial septal defect.3 Morphological and echocardiographic studies, however, have shown that, in this variant presumed to represent deficient atrial septation, it is the atrioventricular septal structures, rather than the atrial septum, which are deficient, the phenotypic feature being the presence of a common atrioventricular junction.4,5 In this review, we will show how, using modern day echocardiographic techniques, particularly the newly developed potential for three-dimensional display, it is an easy matter to identify the presence or absence of the common atrioventricular junction, and then to demonstrate the various relationships between the valvar leaflets, the septal structures, and the common junction itself which determine the options for clinical presentation within the group.

Journal Title

Cardiology in the young


16 Suppl 3

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MeSH Keywords

Echocardiography, Doppler; Heart Septal Defects; Heart Septum; Humans; Mitral Valve; Severity of Illness Index

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