Postnatal Outcome in Patients With Fetal Tachycardia
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The diagnosis and management of prenatal tachyarrhythmias is well established; however, the postnatal course and outcomes are not. The purpose of our study was to review the natural history of patients with fetal tachycardia, determine the incidence of postnatal arrhythmias, and determine whether there are factors to predict which fetuses will develop postnatal arrhythmias. A retrospective chart review of patients with fetal tachyarrhythmias investigated at British Columbia Children’s and Women’s Hospitals between 1983 and 2010 was conducted. Sixty-nine mother–fetus pairs were eligible for the study. Fifty-two had fetal supraventricular tachycardia, and 17 had fetal atrial flutter. Conversion to sinus rhythm occurred prenatally in 52 % of patients. Postnatal arrhythmia occurred in two thirds of patients, with 82 % of those cases occurring within the first 48 h of life. Hydrops fetalis, female sex, and lack of conversion to sinus rhythm was predictive of postnatal arrhythmia (P = 0.01, P = 0.01, and P = 0.001, respectively). Conversion to sinus rhythm prenatally did not predict postnatal arrhythmia. Median duration of treatment was 9 months. Two postnatal deaths of unknown etiology occurred. Two thirds of all patients with prenatal tachycardia will develop postnatal arrhythmia. Prenatal factors that predict postnatal arrhythmia include hydrops, sex, and whether or not conversion to sinus rhythm occurred prenatally. The majority of patients with postnatal arrhythmia present within 48 h of life, which has clinical implications for monitoring. Postnatal outcome is generally very good with most patients being weaned off medication in 6–12 months.
KeywordsAtrial flutter Natural history Prenatal and postnatal arrhythmias Supraventricular tachycardia
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