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Ann Pediatr Cardiol. 2019 Sep-Dec;12(3):220-227. doi: 10.4103/apc.APC_146_18.

Atrial and ventricular ejection force of the fetal heart: Which of the four chambers is the dominant?

Author information

1
Department of Pediatric Cardiology, Children's Medical Center (The Pediatric Center of Excellence), Affiliated to Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

Abstract

Background/Aim:

This study aimed to measure and compare the ejection force of the cardiac chambers in healthy singleton fetuses and to investigate the relationship of ejection force of cardiac chambers with gestational age, fetal sex, and fetal heart rate.

Patients and Methods:

A prospective study was performed on 68 singleton fetuses with a gestational age of 17-34 weeks. Atrial and ventricular ejection force was measured. Measurements were repeated in 18 of the fetuses to assess intraobserver reliability.

Results:

The right atrium had the highest ejection force of all the cardiac chambers. Ejection force of both atria and ventricles increased with gestational age.

Conclusion:

The right atrium is the dominant chamber of the fetal heart in 17-34 weeks of gestation. Comparison of our values with previous studies indicates that left atrial ejection force almost doubles in the 1st month after birth. This study highlights the crucial role of the right atrium in the fetal cardiac function during 17-34 weeks of gestation.

KEYWORDS:

Fetal cardiac function; fetal echocardiography; left atrial ejection force; left ventricular ejection force; normal values; right atrial ejection force; right ventricular ejection force

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