Am J Perinatol 1998; 15(4): 237-242
DOI: 10.1055/s-2007-993934

© 1998 by Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc.

Effect of Prenatal Diagnosis of Critical Left Heart Obstruction on Perinatal Morbidity and Mortality

Reenu S. Eapen, Daniel G. Rowland, Wayne H. Franklin
  • Division of Cardiology, Department of Pediatrics, The Ohio State University, Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio
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Publication History

Publication Date:
04 March 2008 (online)


We sought to determine the effect of prenatal diagnosis of congenital heart disease, specifically critical left heart obstructive (LHO) lesions, on postnatal morbidity and mortality. Several studies have found no significant improvement in mortality in infants with prenatally detected heart disease compared to infants diagnosed postnatally. Few reports have focused on the specific effects of prenatal diagnosis on the perinatal course. All newborns with LHO seen between July 1993 and July 1996 were identified and divided into two groups based on prenatal vs. postnatal diagnosis. Hospital records were reviewed for demographic and outcome variables. The outcome variables included degree of metabolic acidosis, hemodynamic instability, noncardiac organ dysfunction, delayed surgical intervention, and surgical mortality. Twenty-three fetuses were diagnosed with LHO lesions. Postnatally, 45 newborns presented with LHO anomalies. Prenatal diagnosis resulted in avoidance of hemodynamic compromise, reduced organ dysfunction, and reduced surgical delays. There was no significant difference in surgical mortality. Prenatal diagnosis significantly decreases postnatal morbidity in infants with LHO lesions. Although surgical results are similar, the reduced morbidity decreases surgical delays and potentially may impact on neurodevelopmental outcomes.