Fetal echocardiography. VII. Doppler color flow mapping: a new technique for the diagnosis of congenital heart disease

American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
G R DeVoreL D Platt

Abstract

One of the difficulties for the fetal sonographer is the complete elucidation of structural defects of the cardiovascular system that are associated with intracardiac or great vessel flow disturbances. With the recent introduction of Doppler color flow mapping, in which blood flow is displayed in color superimposed on a real-time image, it has been impossible to identify flow disturbances in the pediatric and adult patient. This study was undertaken to determine whether Doppler color flow mapping could be used in the fetus to identify normal and abnormal cardiovascular anatomy. Thirty-five normal and high-risk fetuses were examined between 16 and 40 weeks of gestation. Doppler color flow mapping identified normal and abnormal anatomy (ventricular septal defect, atrial septal defect, endocardial fibroelastosis, dysplastic pulmonary valve, and tricuspid regurgitation). It appears that Doppler color flow mapping will add a new dimension to fetal cardiovascular imaging.

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