Atrioventricular Canal Defect

Skip Navigation
Back to top

Atrioventricular Canal Defect


Expert Care for AV Canal Defect in Children


Smiling girl who has been treated for Atrioventricular Canal Defect at Nemours.

Atrioventricular canal defect (or “AV canal defect”) is a condition where a combination of congenital (present at birth) heart defects results in a large hole in the center of the heart. Since it develops while a baby is growing in the womb, this condition may be diagnosed during prenatal tests. Babies can have either a complete or a partial AV canal defect, but heart surgery will be needed to repair the problem (and the heart defects that caused it). 

If your baby has AV canal defect, our board-certified, fellowship-trained pediatric cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons (specialists in surgical procedures of the chest, including the heart and lungs) are here to educate your family, address your concerns, and offer advanced diagnostic and treatment planning. The Nemours Cardiac Center offers world-class pediatric heart care, delivered in a family-centered setting.

Services We Offer for Atrioventricular Canal Defect

Services We Offer for Atrioventricular Canal Defect


The expert teams in our Nemours Cardiac Center locations offer a full range of pediatric heart care to diagnose and treat AV canal defect. Services vary by specialist and location, but may include:

  • Fetal Diagnostics. Early detection in our perinatology and fetal medicine centers helps us diagnose congenital heart defects and make a treatment plan for when your baby’s born. 
  • Cardiac Catheterization. A procedure used to diagnose or treat cardiac problems by inserting a thin plastic, flexible tube (called a “catheter”) into an artery or vein, and  threading it through the bloodstream into the heart and its large blood vessels. 
  • Cardiac Diagnostics and Kid-Friendly Imaging. State-of-the-art, noninvasive and minimally invasive tests for kids of all ages. 
  • Cardiology. Your child’s cardiologist will help with medications and monitoring, as well as long-term treatment plans and preventive care.  
  • Genetics Counseling. Although the cause isn’t always known, AV canal can be inherited (passed from parent to child) or part of other genetic conditions like Down syndrome. 
  • Heart Surgery. All children will require surgery to correct AV canal, but the timing will vary based on your child’s situation and the heart defects that caused it. 
Why Choose Us for Atrioventricular Canal Defect Repair & Care

Why Choose Us for Atrioventricular Canal Defect Repair & Care


Our Nemours Cardiac Center team has the experience to provide accurate, efficient diagnosis and treatment of your baby’s atrioventricular canal defect. World-class heart care requires the compassion to understand your family's journey, and the expertise to heal even the most complex conditions. Our cardiac surgeons treat a vast array of heart defects in infants, children and teens, using the most innovative, up-to-date approaches. Our specialty is the early detection and repair of heart problems. Nemours heart care specialists have been recognized for their commitment to delivering top-notch, compassionate care to children with congenital heart disease. 

Learn More About Why to Choose Us »

Regional Atrioventricular Canal Defect  Highlights 

Services, programs, facilities and care teams differ at each location. Call for details.

Named in best children's hospitals for cardiac care.

We offer care for newborns and children with atrioventricular canal defect care at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children (Wilmington, Del.) and select Nemours duPont Pediatrics locations. 

The Nemours Cardiac Center located at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children is ranked among the best children’s hospitals in the nation for pediatric cardiology and heart surgery by U.S. News and World Report.  

We offer care for newborns and children with atrioventricular canal defect care at Nemours Children’s Hospital (Orlando) and select Nemours Children’s Specialty Care locations.  

Our renowned pediatric cardiology and cardiothoracic surgery team at the Nemours Cardiac Center in Central Florida offers inpatient, critical and surgical care at Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando — including dedicated cardiac anesthesiologists and state-of-the-art cardiac intensive care unit (CICU). 

A dedicated cardiac program for kids with Down syndrome. Since about half of the babies born with Down syndrome also have congenital heart defects, our Cardiac Center experts work with our on-site neuromuscular specialists to evaluate and treat heart defects — including atrioventricular and ventricular septal defects and tetralogy of Fallot. 

We offer atrioventricular canal defect care at Nemours Children’s Specialty Care, Pensacola and our hospital affiliate, West Florida Healthcare, with outpatient and follow-up appointments also available at select Nemours Children’s Specialty Care locations.

Our Nemours Cardiac Center in Pensacola is home to one of the few accredited pediatric transthoracic and fetal echocardiography labs in Florida and, if needed, can facilitate the transfer of extremely ill children between our Nemours Cardiac Center locations (e.g., to Nemours Children’s Hospital).  

Patient Stories

Patient Stories


Miracle tells her story about care at Nemours for atrioventricular canal defect.

Sometimes the best support and peace of mind comes from families who’ve been there. Meet some of the inspiring kids we’ve been honored to treat.

See Patient Stories »

research icon

Research & Clinical Trials

At Nemours, we’re actively researching new approaches for childhood disease prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

kidshealth icon

KidsHealth Library

Learn more about your child’s medical condition from the experts at Nemours’ KidsHealth.