The purpose of this investigation was to assess left and right ventricular function, volume ejection fraction, combined stroke volume, and combined ventricular output in the human fetus with congenital heart disease compared to the normal healthy fetus. Seventy-two fetuses with a variety of in utero diagnosed congenital cardiac defects were compared with a control group of fetuses with structurally normal hearts matched for race, maternal age, and gestational age. We demonstrated significant hemodynamic changes in the fetus with congenital heart disease. There was a significant (p < 0.0001) decrease in the volume ejection fractions, biventricular stroke volume, and cardiac output in the congenital heart disease group compared to matched controls. Our findings suggest that hemodynamic abnormalities in the fetus with congenital heart disease are present before birth and we speculate that myocardial reserve may not be adequate to respond to hemodynamic stressors such as birth or heart surgery.
- Heart defects
- Ventricular function
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine