Usefulness of Fetal Three-Dimensional Ultrasonography for Detecting of Congenital Heart Defects and Associated Syndromes

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Congenital heart defects (CHDs) occur in 1% of live-born infants and frequently are associated with extracardiac malformations. This study aimed to assess the feasibility and accuracy of three-dimensional ultrasonography (3DUS) in fetuses with CHD and to investigate whether 3DUS can add information about the heart and general fetal morphology that shows other congenital malformations or suggests syndromes. For 30 fetuses affected by CHD, 3DUS was performed using a Sonos 7500 ultrasound machine with a cardiac 3D transducer. In 44% of the exams, 3DUS was completely diagnostic for the CHD, providing additional information in 28% of the exams. Furthermore, 3DUS showed 82% of associated malformations, providing the complete diagnosis in 57% of the cases and helping with recognition of syndromes in others. The diagnostic accuracy of 3DUS was superior, with a higher number of acquisitions per exam. Performance was better in fetuses younger than 24 weeks for general morphologic details and in fetuses older than 24 weeks for the heart morphology.

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The authors gratefully acknowledge professor Stephen P. Sanders for his valuable assistance in reviewing the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Ornella Milanesi.

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Zabadneh, N., Santagati, C., Reffo, E. et al. Usefulness of Fetal Three-Dimensional Ultrasonography for Detecting of Congenital Heart Defects and Associated Syndromes. Pediatr Cardiol 32, 724–736 (2011).

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  • Congenital
  • 3D Echocardiography
  • Heart defects
  • Fetus
  • Prenatal diagnosis
  • Syndromes