Early neonatal surgery for congenital heart defects after prenatal diagnosis of restricted foramen ovale as the priority procedure?

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From 2012-2014 we selected fetuses who had an isolated congenital heart defect and restriction of the foramen ovale defined as its diameter of 4 mm or less, shunt across foramen ovale, V max > 70 cm/sec along with a typical harsh sound during fetal ausculation during echocardiography and reversal flow in pulmonary veins, no extracardiac anomalies, singleton pregnancies and delivery > 37 weeks of gestation. It was retrospective analysis of 16 cases: There were 10 non-survivors and 6 survivors The only significant difference between survivors and non-survivors pertained to the fraction of newborns operated on up to 11th day, which was significantly higher among the survivors (5/6 vs. 2/8, p=0.031).


1) In the event of prenatal restriction of the foramen ovale early surgery by day 10 had a statistically better outcome in terms of survival compared to cases that underwent surgery at a later period at our Institute.

2) Prenatal restriction of the foramen ovale was more often related to male gender and in 75% of cases in our series had complicated follow-up: neonatal death or prolonged hospital stay.3) Information from prenatal echocardiography regarding restriction of the foramen ovale should be taken into consideration as valuable information suggesting priority for early cardiac surgery.


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