Dysplasia of the atrioventricular valves associated with conduction system anomalies.
Clinical, vectorcardiographic, and echocardiographic data from two siblings with atrial septal defects and dysplasia of the mitral and tricuspid valves are reported. Vectorcardiograms showed that both siblings had abnormal ventricular activation with initial electrical forces directed posteriorly. One sibling died after surgery, and necropsy showed incomplete differentiation of the leaflets and tensor apparatus producing anomalies resembling "mitral arcade." Serial histological examination of the conducting tissue showed that the atrioventricular node was located on the left side of the atrial septum, that the central fibrous body and the membranous septum were hypoplastic, and that an accessory nodoventricular pathway originating in the compact node joined the left side of the ventricular septum. This accessory pathway was probably the cause of the unusual ventricular activation. Dysplasia of the mitral and tricuspid valves together with hypoplasia of the central fibrous body and the presence of accessory pathways are probably part of a malformative complex caused by incomplete differentiation of both the cardiac atrioventricular valves and the junctional area.