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What is atrioventricular septal defect?

Atrioventricular septal defect is a congenital (present at birth) heart defect. It occurs during fetal development when tissues do not form correctly in the septum (the wall of the heart that divides it into left and right sides), and the baby is born with one or more holes between heart chambers. This defect can affect the normal flow of blood within the heart and cause excess blood flow to the lungs.

Atrioventricular septal defect may be diagnosed prenatally through a fetal ultrasound scan, or shortly after birth, through an ultrasound and/or echocardiogram test of the baby's heart. It can be corrected with surgery, but often there are still lifelong complications.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.