Fetal heart screening in low-risk pregnancies

Ultrasound in Obstetrics & Gynecology : the Official Journal of the International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology
M A RusticoG Mandruzzato

Abstract

The aim of this study was to assess whether a screening program for fetal cardiac malformations is justified in a low-risk population, and which factors influence its accuracy. The fetal heart was evaluated in 7024 pregnant women at 20-22 weeks, and evaluation was repeated at a more advanced gestational age in 9% of cases. Cardiological follow-up was continued postnatally until 2 years of age. The overall prevalence of cardiac anomaly was 0.93%. The incidences of major and minor defects were 0.44% and 0.48%, respectively. There were 23 true positives (0.33%): in 20 cases, the diagnosis was made in the second trimester, and 13 women (65%) chose termination of pregnancy. Seventeen of the 20 cases identified in the second trimester were serious malformations. There were 42 false negatives (0.60%). Of these, 12 had signs of cardiac dysfunction at birth or within the 1st month of life, and three of them died as a result of their cardiac anomaly. There were eight false positives (0.11%), all of a minor type. Six abnormal karyotypes, out of a total of 21 performed in the true-positive group (28.5%), were found. In addition, five of the 42 newborns in the false-negative group had trisomy 21. The overall sensitivity was 35.4%, and 61.3%...Continue Reading

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