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עמוד בית
Tue, 16.07.24

Original Articles

IMAJ | volume

Journal 9, September 2009
pages: 542-545

Who Should be Offered Fetal Echocardiography? One Center's Experience with 3965 Cases


    Background: Although the comprehensive evaluation of the fetal heart includes echocardiography by an experienced pediatric cardiologist, economic constraints sometimes dictate the need to select patients.

    Objectives: To analyze the usefulness of fetal echocardiography in the detection of congenital heart disease according to the referral indication.

    Methods: This retrospective survey relates to all 3965 FE studies performed in our center from January 2000 to December 2004. The diagnosed cardiac anomalies were classified as significant and non-significant malformations. All FE[1] studies were done by a single operator (A.L.) at Meir Medical Center, a referral center for a population of about 400,000. The 3965 FE studies were performed for the following indications: abnormal obstetric ultrasound scans, maternal and family history of cardiac malformations, medication use during the pregnancy, and maternal request. The relative risk of detecting CHD[2] was calculated according to the various referral indications.

    Results: Overall, 228 (5.8%) cases of CHD were found. The most common indication for referral was suspicion of CHD during a four-chamber view scan in a basic system survey or during a level II ultrasound survey. No correlation was found between maternal age and gestational age at the time of scanning and the likelihood of finding CHD.

    Conclusions: Our data suggest that a suspicious level-II ultrasound or the presence of polyhydramnios is an important indication for FE in the detection of significant CHD.


    [1][1] FE = fetal echocardiography

    [2] CHD = congenital heart disease

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