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Obstet Gynecol. 1994 Sep;84(3):427-31.

Prenatal screening for cardiac anomalies: the value of routine addition of the aortic root to the four-chamber view.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, William Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, Michigan.



To determine whether the addition of the aortic-root view would detect more congenital cardiac anomalies than a standard four-chamber view alone.


The study included fetuses of 14 weeks' gestation or more who were scanned in our unit during a 28-month period. Outcome information was obtained from postnatal echocardiograms and autopsies. Abnormal hearts were classified as to whether the four-chamber or aortic-root view was abnormal.


There were 5967 fetuses in whom a four-chamber view could be obtained. In 5111 of these, an aortic-root view could also be obtained. The four-chamber view detected 24 (47%) of the 51 fetuses with abnormal hearts. Adding the aortic-root view increased the sensitivity to 78%.


Visualization of the aortic root is a quick and easy means of evaluating the aortic outflow tract during routine scanning. Adding the aortic-root view to the standard four-chamber view will result in the detection of most cardiac anomalies prenatally.

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