Factors influencing the outcome of congenital heart disease detected prenatally
Structural defects of the heart can be detected prenatally, or before birth, by echocardiography, a diagnostic method in which sound waves are used to provide images of the internal heart structures. The number of cases referred for fetal echocardiography and the number of cases of heart malformations detected before birth have increased over the past 10 years. However, the outcome for prenatally diagnosed congenital heart disease remains unfavorable, and may be related to the high rate of pregnancy terminations following diagnosis of congenital heart defects. From 1980 through 1989, 442 cases of congenital heart defects diagnosed before birth; 220 were terminated. Factors that may influence the outcome of congenital heart disease detected before birth were assessed. Of the 222 continued pregnancies, death occurred in utero in 57 cases; during the newborn phase in 87 cases; and during infancy or early childhood in 31 cases. Of the 47 survivors, only five have lived to four years of age. A high rate of death was associated with additional defects involving structures other than the heart (71 cases), and fetal heart failure (28 cases). The types of heart disease that develop before birth may be very different from those detected after birth. In addition, certain types of heart disease may become more severe in utero. Thus, clinicians and counsellors must be aware of the additional prenatal or pre-birth factors that influence the outcome of prenatally diagnosed congenital heart disease. (Consumer Summary produced by Reliance Medical Information, Inc.)
Publication Name: Archives of Disease in Childhood
Nerve growth factor, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, and neurotrophin-3 levels in human amniotic fluid
Low levels of nerve growth factor, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, and neurotrophin-3 in amniotic fluid may be a sign of intrauterine infection or central nervous system abnormalities in the fetus. These proteins are involved in the growth and maturation of nerve tissue.
Publication Name: American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
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