Hypoplastic left heart syndrome: prenatal diagnosis, clinical profile, and management

American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
D M BlakeC S Kleinman


We diagnosed hypoplastic left heart syndrome, generally regarded as a lethal congenital heart defect, by fetal echocardiography in 20 pregnancies in the last 5 years. The clinical profile, management, and outcome of these pregnancies were reviewed. We found a 40% association of karyotype and extracardiac malformations. Elective abortion was performed in nine pregnancies. Two of seven live-born babies had early neonatal assessment and intervention as a result of in utero diagnosis and counseling. Prolonged survival was achieved in both infants. We conclude that prenatal diagnosis of the hypoplastic left heart syndrome necessitates complete evaluation of the fetus for associated genetic and extracardiac malformations. Prenatal diagnosis of this defect provides opportunities for in depth counseling of parents and obtaining informed consent for either postnatal intervention or nonintervention before the medical and emotional complexities associated with the neonatal intensive care setting are encountered.


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