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Right ventricular dilatation in the fetus: A study of associated features and outcome

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Archibold Hunter


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Right ventricular dilatation is an infrequent finding at fetal echocardiography. Previous studies have documented an association with aortic coarctation. However, there are associations with other congenital abnormalities. We reviewed our experience of fetal right heart dilatation in order to recognize concurrent anomalies and to assess the outcome of the affected fetuses. We studied all fetuses with right ventricular dilatation over a 5-year period. We documented associated cardiac and noncardiac lesions, and outcome data were assessed in terms of the number of fetuses that were born live and the number surviving to 2 months of age. Forty-three fetuses with right heart dilatation were seen. Fifteen had associated cardiac abnormalities: most commonly coarctation (n = 4) and VSD (n = 4). Seven had associated noncardiac abnormalities. There were seven fetuses who also had chromosomal abnormalities. In total, there were three terminations of pregnancy, four intrauterine deaths, one stillbirth and 35 live-births. Twenty-eight were alive at 2 months of age (70% of the nonterminated pregnancies). Fetal right heart dilatation is frequently associated with both cardiac and noncardiac congenital abnormalities. Our outcome figures suggest a guarded prognosis be given during counseling of parents of fetuses with right heart dilatation.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Hornung S, Heads A, Hunter AS

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Pediatric Cardiology

Year: 2001

Volume: 22

Issue: 3

Pages: 215-217

ISSN (print): 0172-0643

ISSN (electronic): 1432-1971

Publisher: Springer


DOI: 10.1007/s002460010206


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