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J Formos Med Assoc. 2002 May;101(5):329-36.

Postnatal outcome of fetal cardiac echogenic foci.

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Departments of Pediatrics and Obstetrics/Gynecology, National Taiwan University Hospital, 7 Chung-Shan South Road, Taipei, Taiwan.



Cardiac echogenic foci are found frequently during fetal echocardiographic investigations and may be related to increased mineralization of the papillary muscles. However, data from postnatal follow-up are limited. This study investigated the clinical characteristics and postnatal echocardiographic findings in infants with cardiac echogenic foci identified prenatally.


Between March 1995 and April 1998, 43 fetuses were noted to have cardiac echogenic foci during the second trimester. Postnatal evaluation was completed for 20 of these 43 fetuses. No other congenital malformations were noted during the fetal stage or after birth. Postnatal echocardiography was performed from 17 months to 4 years and 7 months after birth.


Seven (35%) infants had persistent cardiac echogenic foci. However, only one had mild mitral valve prolapse without mitral regurgitation. All fetuses had left ventricular (LV) foci and three also had right ventricular (RV) foci. One infant who had a LV focus prenatally was noted to have a RV focus on postnatal follow-up. Among the three infants with prenatal biventricular involvement, only one had biventricular involvement on postnatal follow-up. Other cardiac echogenic foci had disappeared in all infants. The probability of persistence of foci decreased with age and reached 50% at the age of 4 years and 4 months. Thereafter, cardiac echogenic foci tended to regress and only 11% of infants had persistence at the last follow-up. No significant difference was found in the rate of persistence between children with univentricular foci and those with biventricular foci.


Although some fetal cardiac echogenic foci may persist after birth, fetal echogenic foci were not associated with significant intracardiac or extracardiac anomalies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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