Fetal echocardiography. The results of a 3-year study.

A J Macedo, M Ferreira, A Borges, A Sampaio, F Ferraz, F Sampayo

Abstract


During the last three years (July 89 to July 92), 875 fetal echocardiographic studies were performed, at a mean gestational age of 26 +/- 6.5 weeks (12 to 40 weeks), with the following main referral indications: family history of congenital heart disease 23%; advanced maternal age 13%; fetal arrhythmia 10%; amniotic fluid abnormalities 8%; fetal malformations 7%; diabetes 6%; four chamber view changes 4%. There were 15 twin pregnancies, two of them thoracopagus. The referral patterns with higher percentage of cardiac pathology were: abnormal four chamber view 56%; fetal chromosomal anomalies 50%; omphalocele 33%; twin pregnancy 33%; IUGR 29%; arrhythmias 20%. The referral patterns with lower percentage of cardiac pathology were: congenital heart disease in the family 0.2%; maternal risk 2%; amniotic fluid volume alterations 2%. The diagnosis of congenital heart disease was made in 37 fetus (4.2%), with the following most frequent: 9 cases with the atrioventricular septal defect, 5 cases with ventricular septal defect, 5 cases with hypoplastic left heart syndrome and 5 cases with tricuspid valve abnormalities. From a total of 78 referred fetal arrhythmias, 25 were confirmed, 20 being ectopic beats without structural heart disease, 3 with tachycardia, and 2 with bradycardia. One newborn with tachycardia and Ebstein's disease died, and the fetus with AV block and left atrial isomerism died in utero. The treatment and follow up of the remaining cases with heart disease are described. The whole mortality in the cases with heart pathology was 65%.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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