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Fetal Diagn Ther. 2011;30(3):219-24. doi: 10.1159/000330202. Epub 2011 Aug 17.

Changes in fetal circulation associated with congenital heart disease and their effects on fetal growth.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Niigata University Medical and Dental Hospital, 1-757 Asahimachi-dori, Chuo-ku, Niigata, Japan.



Our aim was to investigate the association between fetal growth and cerebrovascular resistance in fetuses with congenital heart disease (CHD).


Fetal echocardiography was performed to measure the biparietal diameter, abdominal circumference, femur length, estimated fetal body weight, middle cerebral artery (MCA) resistance index (RI) and umbilical artery (UA) RI in 44 fetuses with CHD and 140 normal fetuses at a gestational age of 28-34 weeks.


Fetuses with CHD exhibited significantly lower values for femur length, estimated fetal body weight at the third trimester, body weight, length, and chest circumference at birth than normal controls. The percentages of fetuses showing MCA RI values <10th percentile and UA RI values >90th percentile were significantly higher in the CHD group than in the control group. However, there were no significant differences in any biometric parameters measured between cases with MCA RI values ≥10th percentile and values <10th percentile.


Growth restriction and blood flow changes were observed significantly more frequently in fetuses with CHD than in those without CHD. Further studies are necessary to clarify the association between fetal growth and dynamic changes in fetal circulation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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