My daughter is 3; she had her AVSD corrected when she was 6 months old. She has a cleft mitral valve with minimal leakage.
During her routine checkup the other day, her EKG showed a left axis deviation. Will her EKGs always show this for the rest of her life, so I can consider it a normal finding?
For our other readers, atrioventricular septal defect (AVSD) is a congenital heart defect in which there is a hole in the center of the heart that affects both atria and ventricles as well as the atrioventricular valves that lead into the ventricles. Other terms for AVSD include atrioventricular canal and endocardial cushion defect. One of the helpful diagnostic findings that we see in patients with AVSD’s is an ECG with left axis deviation. Left axis deviation means that the overall electrical forces of the heart are shifted leftward. However, this is not a particularly sensitive or specific finding that is often helpful. One of the times that it is helpful, though, is in these patients. What happens is that the atrioventricular node (A-V node), the single electrical connection between the atria and the ventricles, travels exactly in the location that involves the AVSD. Therefore, if there’s a hole, the A-V node has to go somewhere when the heart is formed. It is thus displaced away from where it should be, and falsely causes the left axis deviation seen in these ECG’s. This is absolutely a typical permanent finding in these patients and causes no problems by itself.
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