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  • Author: Katarzyna Więckowska x
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Katarzyna Więckowska, Jerzy Węgrzynowski, Katarzyna Zych - Krekora, Joanna Kwiatkowska, Maciej Słodki and Maria Respondek-Liberska


In this report a case of aortopulmonary window (APW) diagnosed at 26 hbd is presented. APW supported the pulmonary circulation in neonate afflicted with pulmonary stenosis. To our knowledge, this is the first report in the literature referring to observing their coincidence in fetal life.

Open access

Katarzyna Więckowska, Katarzyna Zych-Krekora, Maciej Słodki and Maria Respondek-Liberska


Objectives: Coarctation of the aorta (CoA) is an irreversible congenital heart defect. Its prenatal diagnosis is not rare a subject to false-positive conclusion. We present a novel hypothesis explaining the basis of this error.

Methods: Ten cases of prenatal suspicion of the coarctation of the aorta (based on disproportion at the level of 4 chamber view and mediastinum) coincidenced with the umbilical cord wrapped around the fetal body were found in the Filemaker datebase of the Fetal Cardiology Department. Only single pregnancies were taken into account. In all cases another cardiac and extracardiac malformations were excluded.

Results: The mean maternal age was 29,6 years. The mean gestational age was 33 7/8 weeks. All fetuses were in a good cardiovascular condition. The usual position of the umbilical cord was neck, but they were also location such as nucha, abdomen or lower limb. At birth, all newborns had normal anatomy of the heart. We conclude that the explanation of the false diagnosis was haemodynamic, resulting from the compression of the fetal neck by the umbilical cord that resulted in a disproportion of cardiac blood flow, “mimicking” CoA.


1. Functional disturbances can mimic prenatal CoA.

2. Umbilical cord position (specially enlacing the fetus neck) should be taken into consideration in suspected cases of fetal CoA.

Open access

Katarzyna Więckowska, Katarzyna Piątek and Maria Respondek-Liberska


INTRODUCTION: Cardiac tumors (CT) have been diagnosed since the eighties of the last century. The three most commonly diagnosed types of CT are rhabdomyomas, teratomas and fibromas. Severe fetal disturbances, such as arrythmias, fetal hydrops, ventricular obstructions, may be associated with the heart tumor.

AIM OF THE STUDY: To present the key role of the echocardiographic examination in the perinatal care and to present some demographic changes in this population of the youngest patients.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: From the Filemaker database of the Department for Diagnosis and Prevention of Congenital Malformations, Polish Mother’s Memorial Hospital & Medical University of Lodz, all cases with prenatal diagnoses of cardiac tumor in singleton pregnancy were compiled over a 22-year period (1993–2015). 33 cases of heart tumors in fetuses had 72 fetal echo examinations. The average number of cases per year was 1,5 (range 1 – 5). The retrospective analysis of the material was performed using the Statistica package. The analysis included the assessment of the cardiovascular condition defined by Cardiovascular Profile Score, location and number of tumors; age, past obstetric history, place of residence of the mother, type of delivery and neonatal follow-up.

RESULTS: The number of fetuses with cardiac tumor cases did not increase during this period. The maternal age was 28,1 years (± 5,2 years) and was decreasing over time. The primigravidae constituted 60% of examined population. The history of past miscarriages was observed in 26% of women. The majority of tumors were detected and diagnosed in the third trimester – at mean 29,6 hbd, but the diagnosis was made earlier in the past decades (regression analysis, p=0,042). The average duration of pregnancy was 36,6 hbd (range: 27-42 hbd). There was no statistical difference between decades in term on pregnancy duration.

The cardiac tumors were more frequent in the female fetuses (71,4% to 28,6%; X2 test; p=0,006). The proportions between the groups of single and multiple tumors changed in last five years – currently the multiple tumors are more frequent (87,5%). The mortality in the group of single tumors was twice as high as in the group of multiple tumors. The percentage of cesarean sections between 1993 and 2005 was 67% and between 2006 and 2015 was 75% (p=0,63). The mortality of neonates with cardiac tumors declined over the period taken into account.

CONCLUSIONS: The perinatal care of the fetuses with cardiac tumors improved over last 20 years. The characteristics of analyzed population had shown that fetal CTs affected healthy, young mothers, more often primigravidae, more often female fetuses. The prevalence of CTs did not increase over time. The gestational age at the time of the diagnosis decreased, thus the period of fetal echo monitoring increased. However, the rate of cesarean sections also increased, which requires further studies and explanations.

Open access

Katarzyna Więckowska, Lech Dudarewicz, Hanna Moczulska, Maciej Słodki, Zbigniew Pietrzak and Maria Respondek-Liberska


The primary aim of this study was to determine the predictive value of prenatal ultrasound and echocardiography for prognosis in congenital heart disease (CHD) with coexisting diaphragmatic hernia (DH) in a tertiary care center. Eleven records from the database of the Department for Diagnoses and Prevention of Congenital Malformations, Polish Mother’s Memorial Hospital Research Institute, were reviewed. The mean maternal age was 29,2 ± 5,1 years, and the mean gestational age at the time of diagnosis was 28,4 ± 6,7 weeks. No information was available for children discharged from hospital. Data of eight cases of prenatal DH and complex heart disease from the literature were also analyzed. Three fetuses survived the neonatal period. In each of these, CHD was other than the urgent or critical type, defined as not requiring cardiac surgical intervention in the first day or month of life. Both sets of data collected from our center and the published literature confirmed the unfavorable prognosis for fetuses with severe or critical CHD with coexisting DH.