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J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2003 Mar;13(3):163-70.

Cardiac defects in chromosomally normal fetuses with increased nuchal translucency at 10-14 weeks of gestation.

Author information

1
Ultrasound and Fetal Physiopathology Unit, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Hospital Universitario 12 de Octubre, Madrid, Spain.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To examine the prevalence, distribution and spectrum of cardiac defects in chromosomally normal fetuses with increased nuchal translucency thickness.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

During a 4-year period, targeted fetal echocardiography was used in 353 chromosomally normal fetuses with increased nuchal translucency thickness at 10-14 weeks' gestation. The cardiac scan was performed at 18-22 weeks. In the last 138 cases enrolled, an additional scan at 12-16 weeks was carried out. The follow-up included the findings at necropsy or in the pediatric examination. A complete follow-up was achieved in 97%.

RESULTS:

Cardiac defects were present in 32 (9.1%) cases, increasing from 5.3% in those with a nuchal translucency thickness of > or = 95th centile (3.9 mm) to 24% when thickness > or = 6 mm (p < 0.001). In 31 cases (97%), the cardiac defect was diagnosed antenatally; in 24 cases (77%) this diagnosis was confirmed later. In the remaining seven cases, the autopsy examination was not available. A wide range of cardiac defects was observed, with the most common being atrioventricular septal defect and tricuspid atresia.

CONCLUSIONS:

Euploid fetuses with increased nuchal translucency thickness have a significantly increased risk of cardiac defects. This is a marker of different types of heart anomalies and constitutes an additional indication for targeted fetal echocardiography. Most of the cardiac defects can be detected by fetal echocardiography.

PMID:
12820838
DOI:
10.1080/jmf.13.3.163.170
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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