Growth patterns in fetuses with isolated cardiac defects

Ilse Haveman, Johanna H. Fleurke-Rozema, Eduard J.H. Mulder, Manon Benders, Gideon du Marchie Sarvaas, Henriette ter Heide, Roel H. de Heus, Caterina M. Bilardo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objectives: There is evidence that in fetuses with congenital heart defects (CHDs), head growth is affected. However, scanty data are available on longitudinal growth patterns of other biometric parameters such as abdominal circumference (AC) and femur length (FL). The aim was to evaluate growth patterns in fetuses with isolated CHD diagnosed prenatally in different categories of lesions. Methods: Fetuses with isolated CHD seen between 2008 and 2013 at the Fetal Medicine Unit of 2 tertiary referral centers were retrospectively included in the study. CHD was classified into 7 categories. Fetal biometry parameters were assessed at 4 variable time points between 18 and 35 weeks' gestation and transformed into Z scores. Linear mixed modeling was performed to analyze repeated measurements and construction of growth models. Results: Two hundred forty-six live births with CHD were analyzed. Linear growth modeling showed a slight decrease in head circumference (HC) in the second half of pregnancy, whereas AC and FL growth were not significantly affected. The model predicted a significantly smaller HC at 36 weeks' gestation in fetuses with conotruncal heart defects. Conclusions: Fetuses with CHD showed a modest but significant linear decrease in HC growth, whereas AC and FL growth trajectories remained stable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)328-336
Number of pages9
JournalPrenatal Diagnosis
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018


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