Echocardiographic Methods of Fetal Heart Size Assessmentheart to Chest Area Ratio and Transversal Heart Diameter

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Abstract

Introduction: Ultrasound assessment of fetal heart size (FHS) is widely used and recommended in many guidelines of fetal echocardiography due to its clinical value. The aim of this study was an analysis of some fetal heart measurements: ratio of heart area to chest area (HA/ CA) and transversal diameter of heart (AP) and their correlation to gestational age.

Material and methods: This retrospective study was based on database of records of ultrasound and echocardiographic examinations performed in our unit and included fetuses between 15th and 39th week of gestation with no evidence of heart defect or any abnormality.

Results: 609 ultrasound examinations were analyzed. The mean HA/CA was 0,30 ± 0,015, with no statistical difference between female and male (p>0,05), and seemed to be relatively constant with slight increase with advancing gestational age. The AP diameter in whole group correlated with gestational age (r=0,94) and there was no difference related to the fetuses gender.

Conclusion: The correlation of AP diameter and relative constancy of HA/CA ratio with gestational age presented in our normograms could be used for monitoring fetal development, but also for fetal cardiomegaly assessment.

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