Does a prenatal diagnosis of congenital heart disease alter short-term outcome?

Ultrasound in Obstetrics & Gynecology : the Official Journal of the International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology
J A CopelC S Kleinman

Abstract

Congenital heart disease (CHD) is the most common fatal congenital anomaly in the first year after birth. Fetal echocardiography has become accepted as a method of diagnosing CHD in utero, but the benefits of prenatal diagnosis have not been evaluated. We performed a cohort analysis of neonates with CHD in the absence of other life-threatening conditions. One group (I) consisted of neonates who had been diagnosed as fetuses to have CHD and who were delivered at Yale-New Haven Hospital. The other group (II) consisted of neonates who were not diagnosed to have CHD until after birth, and were either delivered at, or transferred to, the same hospital. Costs of initial hospitalization, length of hospitalization, and survival to discharge home with the parents were primary outcome measures. Our primary hypothesis was that all outcome measures would be improved by prenatal diagnosis. We also examined secondary hypotheses that these same measures would be improved among selected subgroups, including those requiring univentricular management, those amenable to biventricular repair, those with ductal dependent lesions, and those requiring any surgery during the primary admission. From January 1, 1991 to June 30, 1996 we identified 45 ant...Continue Reading

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