Heart Tumors in 33 Fetuses - Review of Twenty-Two Years of the Single-Centre Experience


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.

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