Cardiac malformations in first-trimester fetuses with increased nuchal translucency: ultrasound diagnosis and postmortem morphology

Ultrasound in Obstetrics & Gynecology : the Official Journal of the International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology
M C HaakJohn M G van Vugt

Abstract

The aim of this study was to explore the diagnostic accuracy of first-trimester transvaginal echocardiography in fetuses with increased nuchal translucency (NT) thickness, by comparing the ultrasound diagnosis with the findings on postmortem examination or mid-gestational ultrasound and neonatal outcome. Transvaginal echocardiography was performed in 45 fetuses with a NT > 95th centile. Karyotyping was performed in 43. In 20 of the 23 pregnancies in which termination of pregnancy was carried out, postmortem examination was performed to determine the presence and type of heart defect. Mid-gestational echocardiography was performed in ongoing pregnancies and neonatal follow-up information was obtained. Findings on first-trimester transvaginal echocardiography were compared to those of second-trimester echocardiography or the results of postmortem examination. The mean NT in the fetuses with and without heart defects was calculated. Of the 45 fetuses, heart malformations were suspected on first-trimester ultrasound in 10 (22%), of which eight (80%) were found to have a chromosomal abnormality. Postmortem examination showed minor additional findings in some cases and major discrepancies occurred in none. Septal defects were the mos...Continue Reading

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