[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Preventing the progression of fetal aortic stenosis (AS) to hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) requires identification of fetuses with salvageable left hearts who would progress to HLHS if left untreated, a successful in utero valvotomy, and demonstration that a successful valvotomy promotes left heart growth in utero. Fetuses meeting the first criterion are undefined, and previous reports of fetal AS dilation have not evaluated the impact of intervention on in utero growth of left heart structures.
We offered fetal AS dilation to 24 mothers whose fetuses had AS. At least 3 echocardiographers assigned a high probability that all 24 fetuses would progress to HLHS if left untreated. Twenty (21 to 29 weeks' gestation) underwent attempted AS dilation, with technical success in 14. Ideal fetal positioning for cannula puncture site and course of the needle (with or without laparotomy) proved to be necessary for procedural success. Serial fetal echocardiograms after intervention demonstrated growth arrest of the left heart structures in unsuccessful cases and in those who declined the procedure, while ongoing left heart growth was seen in successful cases. Resumed left heart growth led to a 2-ventricle circulation at birth in 3 babies.
Fetal echocardiography can identify midgestation fetuses with AS who are at high risk for developing HLHS. Timely and successful aortic valve dilation requires ideal fetal and cannula positioning, prevents left heart growth arrest, and may result in normal ventricular anatomy and function at birth.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Infants born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome and an intact or highly restrictive atrial septum face a neonatal mortality of at least 48% despite early postnatal left atrial decompression and palliative surgery. Prenatal left atrial decompression has been suggested as a means of improving these outcomes. This study reports the feasibility of fetal catheterization to create an interatrial communication and describes technical considerations.
Seven fetuses at 26 to 34 weeks' gestation with hypoplastic left heart syndrome and intact or highly restrictive atrial septum underwent attempted prenatal intervention. Under ultrasound guidance, the atrial septum was approached with a needle introduced percutaneously from the maternal abdominal surface. In 6 of 7 fetuses, the atrial septum was successfully perforated, with balloon dilation of this iatrogenic defect resulting in a small but persistent interatrial communication. There were no maternal complications. One fetus died after the procedure. The remaining fetuses were liveborn at term, although 4 died as neonates.
Ultrasound-guided fetal atrial septoplasty consisting of septal puncture and balloon dilation is feasible and can be performed percutaneously to minimize maternal risk. Although we have not demonstrated any positive clinical impact to date, it is our hope that further technical evolution will ultimately enable prenatal left atrial decompression and improvement of outcomes in fetuses with hypoplastic left heart syndrome and intact atrial septum.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) with intact or very restrictive atrial septum is a highly lethal combination. We review our 13-year institutional experience treating this high-risk subgroup of patients with emergent catheter therapy.
Infants with HLHS requiring catheter septostomy within the first 2 days of life were compared with a matched control group with adequate interatrial communication. Preoperative, early postoperative, and medium-term survival were evaluated. Earlier experience was compared with recent results to assess the effect of changes in catheterization and surgical and intensive care unit management strategies over the study period. From 1990 to 2002, 33 newborns with HLHS (11% of newborns with HLHS managed during this period) underwent urgent/semiurgent catheterization to create or enlarge an interatrial communication before surgical palliation. Preoperative and early postoperative mortality were high (48%) compared with control HLHS patients, regardless of prenatal diagnosis and despite successful catheter-based atrial septostomy with clinical stabilization. Mortality trended down during the later part of the study period. Those who survived the neonatal period had late survival, pulmonary artery pressure, and resistance similar to those of control subjects.
Neonatal mortality in the subgroup of HLHS patients with intact or highly restrictive atrial septum remains high despite successful urgent septostomy. Persistently poor outcomes for these patients have prompted efforts at our center to develop techniques for fetal intervention for this condition, in the hope that prenatal relief of left atrial and pulmonary venous hypertension may promote normal pulmonary vascular and parenchymal development and improve both short- and long-term outcomes.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A retrospective review was performed in 94 patients with > or =1 cardiac tumors seen on prenatal or neonatal echocardiography at 5 major referral centers. Tuberous sclerosis was present in 68 patients diagnosed with a cardiac tumor in utero or during the neonatal period, including 61 of 64 with multiple tumors.
The American Journal of Cardiology 08/2003; 92(4):487-9. · 3.21 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The rapidly expanding role of transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) in the management and treatment of congenital heart disease includes guidance of interventional cardiac catheterization procedures and monitoring of results. TEE is particularly helpful for assessing device position during device closure of atrial septal defects (ASD), ventricular septal defects, and perivalvar defects, especially when multiple or complex defects are present. It is also useful during balloon dilation of certain congenital and postoperative obstructions. Stent placement for treatment of intracardiac obstructions is facilitated by TEE guidance. The risks associated with Brockenbrough transseptal puncture and ASD enlargement, particularly in the setting of unusual atrial anatomy, may be reduced by TEE guidance of the procedure. TEE monitoring of video assisted thoracoscopic closure of patent ductus arteriousus has contributed to the high success rate of this innovative procedure. TEE imaging assists in positioning of devices and catheters, reduces radiation exposure and contrast load, and provides immediate and continuous assessment not only of results, but of potential complications of interventional procedures. As the applications of interventional catheterization in the field of pediatric cardiology increase so will the role of TEE.