In utero pulmonary artery and aortic growth and potential for progression of pulmonary outflow tract obstruction in tetralogy of Fallot

Journal of the American College of Cardiology
L K HornbergerS D Colan

Abstract

This study was designed to define patterns of pulmonary artery and aortic growth in fetuses with tetralogy of Fallot and to determine the potential for in utero progression of right ventricular outflow tract obstruction. Despite an abundance of reports documenting the prenatal diagnosis of tetralogy of Fallot, there is little information about its course in utero. Pulmonary artery and ascending aortic diameters were measured from prenatal and postnatal echocardiograms of 16 fetuses with tetralogy of Fallot, initially studied at 23.6 +/- 6.0 (mean +/- SD) weeks of gestation. Fetuses were classified retrospectively as having mild and severe tetralogy of Fallot according to whether the pulmonary artery circulation was (severe, n = 5) or was not (mild, n = 11) ductus arteriosus dependent at birth. Initial main pulmonary artery diameter was small for gestational age in 9 fetuses, large in 2 and normal in 5 compared with data from 57 gestational age-adjusted normal fetal studies; it was significantly smaller in the group with severe tetralogy of Fallot (p = 0.05). The initial main pulmonary artery/aortic diameter ratio was also smaller for the group with severe tetralogy of Fallot (0.50 +/- 0.15 vs. 0.73 +/- 0.14 in the group with mi...Continue Reading

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