Human genetics of atrioventricular septal defect

Cheryl L. Maslen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Atrioventricular septal defects (AVSD), also known as a common atrioventricular canal (CAVC), are clinically severe heart malformations that affect about 1 out of every 2,100 live births. AVSD is associated with cytogenetic disorders, such as Down syndrome and numerous rare genetic syndromes, but also occurs as a simplex trait. Studies in mouse models have identified over 100 genetic mutations that have the potential to cause an AVSD. However, studies in humans indicate that AVSD is genetically heterogeneous and that the cause in humans is very rarely a single-gene defect. Familial cases do occur, usually with autosomal dominant inheritance, and the mutations identified in those families suggest biochemical pathways of interest. In addition, the frequent occurrence of AVSD in some syndromes, such as heterotaxy syndrome, points to additional genes/pathways that increase AVSD risk. Accordingly, while the genetic underpinnings for most AVSD remain unknown, there have been advances in identifying genetic risk factors for AVSD in both syndromic and nonsyndromic cases. This chapter summarizes the current knowledge of the genetic basis for AVSD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCongenital Heart Diseases
Subtitle of host publicationThe Broken Heart: Clinical Features, Human Genetics and Molecular Pathways
PublisherSpringer-Verlag Wien
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9783709118832
ISBN (Print)9783709118825
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • AVSD
  • Atrioventricular septal defect
  • CHARGE syndrome
  • CRELD1
  • Cysteine-rich protein with EGF-like domain 1
  • Down syndrome
  • Ellis-van Creveld syndrome
  • GATA5
  • Heterotaxy syndrome
  • Holt-Oram syndrome
  • Ivemark syndrome
  • Kaufman-McKusick syndrome
  • NR2F2
  • Noonan syndrome
  • Trisomy 21
  • Vascular endothelial growth factor A

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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