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Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol. 2008 Mar;31(3):271-6. doi: 10.1002/uog.5276.

Transposition of the great arteries in the fetus: assessment of the spatial relationships of the arterial trunks by four-dimensional echocardiography.

Author information

1
Fetal Cardiology Unit, Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, University Federico II of Naples, Italy. paladini@unina.it

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Coronary arterial abnormalities can be one of the few negative prognostic indicators in transposition of the great arteries (TGA), and their occurrence is related to the type of spatial relationship of the great arteries. The main objective of this study was to assess whether the use of the reconstructed en-face view with color Doppler imaging of the four cardiac valves can demonstrate the different types of spatial relationship of the arterial trunks in fetuses with TGA, in order to derive the risk of coronary abnormalities. A secondary end-point was the evaluation of the type of coronary arterial branching pattern.

METHODS:

Twenty-three fetuses with a confirmed diagnosis of TGA underwent four-dimensional (4D) echocardiography at 19-33 gestational weeks. The en-face view of the four cardiac valves and color Doppler with high persistence were employed to assess the spatial relationships of the great arteries. In all cases, confirmation of the vessels' arrangement and coronary arterial distribution was obtained at neonatal echocardiography and/or surgery.

RESULTS:

The spatial relationships of the great vessels was identified correctly in 20/23 (87%) cases. The aorta was found to be located anterior to and to the right of the pulmonary trunk in 13/23 (56.5%) cases and just anterior to the pulmonary artery in 6/23 (26.1%) cases; in the remaining four (17.4%) cases, the two vessels were side by side. With respect to the association between the spatial relationship of the great arteries and the occurrence of an unusual pattern of coronary arterial branching, five of the TGA fetuses had abnormal coronary arterial distribution.

CONCLUSIONS:

Using 4D echocardiography with color Doppler, it is possible to define the spatial relationships of the great arteries in fetuses with TGA with a high degree of accuracy. This information can be used during counseling to predict the likelihood of abnormal coronary arterial distribution.

PMID:
18307212
DOI:
10.1002/uog.5276
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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