Detailed three-dimensional fetal echocardiography facilitated by an Internet link
ABSTRACT To assess whether a complete virtual cardiological examination can be achieved in stored three-dimensional volumes of the fetal heart, transmitted to a tertiary fetal cardiology center via the Internet.
Thirty sequential normal singleton pregnancies were included in the study. Four cardiac volumes were acquired using a three-dimensional ultrasound system. The volumes were sent via the Internet to a tertiary fetal cardiology center, where a detailed fetal cardiac examination was attempted using the three-dimensional volumetric dataset.
The median gestational age was 24 (range, 22-28) weeks. A complete heart examination was accomplished in 23 of 30 cases (76.7%; 95% confidence interval, 58-90%). The four-chamber view and the cardiac situs were seen in all cases. The right ventricular outflow tract was seen in 29 (96.7%) cases and the left ventricular outflow tract in 25 (83.3%) cases. The long-axis view of the aortic arch, superior vena cava, inferior vena cava and pulmonary veins were visualized in more than 80% of cases. The mean time of volume acquisition was 9.5 (standard deviation, 2.3) min and the mean examination time by the fetal cardiologist was 17 (standard deviation, 4.8) min.
These preliminary results demonstrate that a three-dimensional virtual examination of the fetal heart is possible. There are limitations such as the lack of flow and functional information but complete ascertainment of the main cardiac connections was possible in the majority of cases. The use of an Internet link has major implications, particularly for situations in which the scanning center is geographically remote from the tertiary referral center.
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ABSTRACT: The goal of this statement is to review available literature and to put forth a scientific statement on the current practice of fetal cardiac medicine, including the diagnosis and management of fetal cardiovascular disease. A writing group appointed by the American Heart Association reviewed the available literature pertaining to topics relevant to fetal cardiac medicine, including the diagnosis of congenital heart disease and arrhythmias, assessment of cardiac function and the cardiovascular system, and available treatment options. The American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association classification of recommendations and level of evidence for practice guidelines were applied to the current practice of fetal cardiac medicine. Recommendations relating to the specifics of fetal diagnosis, including the timing of referral for study, indications for referral, and experience suggested for performance and interpretation of studies, are presented. The components of a fetal echocardiogram are described in detail, including descriptions of the assessment of cardiac anatomy, cardiac function, and rhythm. Complementary modalities for fetal cardiac assessment are reviewed, including the use of advanced ultrasound techniques, fetal magnetic resonance imaging, and fetal magnetocardiography and electrocardiography for rhythm assessment. Models for parental counseling and a discussion of parental stress and depression assessments are reviewed. Available fetal therapies, including medical management for arrhythmias or heart failure and closed or open intervention for diseases affecting the cardiovascular system such as twin-twin transfusion syndrome, lung masses, and vascular tumors, are highlighted. Catheter-based intervention strategies to prevent the progression of disease in utero are also discussed. Recommendations for delivery planning strategies for fetuses with congenital heart disease including models based on classification of disease severity and delivery room treatment will be highlighted. Outcome assessment is reviewed to show the benefit of prenatal diagnosis and management as they affect outcome for babies with congenital heart disease. Fetal cardiac medicine has evolved considerably over the past 2 decades, predominantly in response to advances in imaging technology and innovations in therapies. The diagnosis of cardiac disease in the fetus is mostly made with ultrasound; however, new technologies, including 3- and 4-dimensional echocardiography, magnetic resonance imaging, and fetal electrocardiography and magnetocardiography, are available. Medical and interventional treatments for select diseases and strategies for delivery room care enable stabilization of high-risk fetuses and contribute to improved outcomes. This statement highlights what is currently known and recommended on the basis of evidence and experience in the rapidly advancing and highly specialized field of fetal cardiac care.Circulation 04/2014; 129(21). DOI:10.1161/01.cir.0000437597.44550.5d · 14.95 Impact Factor
The Ultrasound Review of Obstetrics & Gynecology 12/2011; 2(4). DOI:10.1080/14722240208500482
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ABSTRACT: As malformações cardíacas são as mais freqüentes anomalias congênitas ao nascimento, entretanto, a sua detecção pré-natal pela ultra-sonografia convencional permanece baixa. As ultra-sonografias de terceira e quarta dimensões surgiram no início da década de 90, apresentando grandes aplicações em obstetrícia, principalmente nos casos de diagnósticos duvidosos à ultra-sonografia bidimensional. O spatio-temporal image correlation (STIC) representa grande avanço na área de ultra-som de quarta dimensão; constitui-se em um software acoplado ao aparelho Voluson 730 Expert, que permite a aquisição volumétrica do coração fetal e suas conexões vasculares. As análises volumétricas são realizadas nos modos multiplanar e de renderização, podendo-se também utilizar o Doppler. Apresenta, como grandes vantagens, a aquisição rápida e a possibilidade de análise posterior por especialistas em ecocardiografia fetal. Pode ser aplicada para a pesquisa de quaisquer cardiopatias congênitas, pois permite a aquisição de qualquer plano, diferentemente do ultra-som bidimensional. Sua principal desvantagem está relacionada aos movimentos fetais. A maior difusão do método pode permitir um aumento na detecção de malformações cardíacas, pois possibilita ao ultra-sonografista geral encaminhar, via Internet, os volumes para a análise por especialistas em ecocardiografia fetal.Radiologia Brasileira 10/2006; 39(5):373-377. DOI:10.1590/S0100-39842006000500014