Anatomical studies were made on 114 necropsy specimens of atrioventricular defects with atrioventricular concordance. The malformation is characterised by disproportion between the ventricular inlet and outlet dimensions and a malorientation of the aortic valve relative to the atrioventricular valve or valves. Associated with this there is a characteristic 'scopped-out' appearance of the muscular ventricular septum, gross abnormalities of the membranous components of the septum as compared with the normal heart, and narrowing of the aortic outflow tract. Hearts with these anatomical features can be divided into partial and complete forms depending on the morphology of the atrioventricular annuli. In the partial form the septal leaflets are conjoined to give separate mitral and tricuspid orifices, the conjoined leaflets being displaced into the ventricles and usually attached to the crest of the septum. In the complete form, anterior and posterior components of the 'septal' leaflets are separate, so that a single valve orifice connects the atrial to the ventricular chambers. Further subdivision of the complete form, apart from the morphology of the anterior leaflet, is dependent upon the presence or absence of an ostium primum atrial septal defect.
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