Prenatal diagnosis of critical congenital heart disease (CHD) is associated with decreased morbidity. It is also associated with lower birth weights and earlier gestational age at delivery. The University of California Fetal Consortium (UCfC) comprises five tertiary medical centers, and was created to define treatment practices. We utilized this consortium to assess delivery patterns and outcomes in subjects with prenatal and postnatal diagnosis of CHD. A retrospective cohort study was conducted on maternal–neonatal pairs diagnosed with complex CHD prenatally (n = 186) and postnatally (n = 110) from 2011 to 2013. Outcomes were assessed between groups after adjusting for disease severity. Prenatally diagnosed subjects were born earlier (38.1 ± 0.11 vs. 39 ± 0.14 weeks, p = < 0.001), and had lower birth weights (2853 ± 49 vs. 3074 ± 58 g, p = 0.005) as compared to postnatal diagnosis. For every week increase in gestational age and 100 g increase in birth weight, length of stay decreased by 12.3 ± 2.7% (p < 0.001) and 3.9 ± 0.9% (p < 0.001). Subjects with prenatal diagnosis were more often born via cesarean both planned (35.6 vs. 26.2%, p = 0.004) and after a trial of labor (13 vs. 7.8%, p = 0.017). Neonates with cesarean delivery trended toward a longer length of stay (2.6 days longer), and were born earlier as compared to other modalities (37.7 ± 0.22 weeks, p = 0.001). Management after prenatal diagnosis of CHD appears to have modifiable disadvantages for maternal and neonatal outcomes. The UCfC provides a platform to study best practices and standardization of care for future studies.
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We would like to thank Jeffrey Gornbein, PhD (UCLA) for his assistance with statistical analysis and review of the manuscript.
Dr. Peyvandi is supported by the NIH (P01 NS082330).
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
All authors declare no conflicts of interest.
This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors. All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Informed consent was not required in this study due to the d-identified and retrospective nature of the data. A multi-institutional review board reliance registry provided approval for the study (IRB #10-04093).
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