Effect of detailed fetal echocardiography as part of routine prenatal ultrasonographic screening on detection of congenital heart disease

Lancet
I StümpflenG Bernaschek

Abstract

Cardiac abnormalities are frequently not detected by routine ultrasound screening examinations. Although detailed fetal echocardiography is more sensitive in detection of congenital heart disease, it is used only for high-risk cases. The main aim of this study was to assess the prenatal detection of congenital heart disease by detailed fetal echocardiography in an unselected, consecutive group of pregnant women. Between Jan 1, 1993, and Sept 30, 1994, all women who attended our antenatal-care unit were routinely offered a detailed fetal echocardiography examination at 18-28 weeks' gestation. 3085 consecutive women were screened: 2181 were screening cases with no known risk factor for congenital heart disease; 540 had maternal risk factors for congenital heart disease, such as a family history or coexisting maternal disease; 364 had sonographically detected abnormalities. The examination included the four-chamber view, outflow-tract scan, and colour-flow mapping; doppler and M-mode investigations were also done when appropriate. 46 cases of congenital heart disease were detected prenatally by echocardiography-15 in the group with no risk factors, three in the group with maternal risk factors, and 28 in the group with sonographic...Continue Reading

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