Management of symptomatic atrioventricular canal (AVC) in infancy may be difficult. Between July, 1969, and September, 1977, 31 infants with complete AVC presented in congestive heart failure (CHF) to the University of Minnesota Hospitals. Fifteen of these patients have responded to medical management and have been followed as outpatients. The other 16 patients remained in CHF. Six of them died of persistent heart failure within 4 months. The other 10 infants, aged 3 weeks to 1 year (mean 4 months), underwent pulmonary artery banding and seven survived operation. One of the survivors died with apparent pneumonia 1 month postoperatively. Each of the remaining six patients, who have been followed for 9 months to 9 years, had minimal mitral insufficiency and a large ventricular shunt. The three patients dying after banding had significant mitral insufficiency. We believe that pulmonary artery banding is an effective palliative procedure for infants with complete AVC and CHF who have large ventricular shunts and minimal mitral insufficiency.