Second Trimester Screening of Congenital Heart Disease
Pp. 8-19 (12)
Giovanna Ogge, Pietro Gaglioti, Manuela Oberto and Tullia Todros
Congenital heart diseases (CHD) are frequent fetal anomalies, with an important impact on perinatal
mortality and morbidity. Prenatal diagnosis has a demonstrated effect in decreasing the overall prevalence at
birth, and in improving the outcomes of specific malformations; moreover, the great majority of these
malformations occurs in the absence of any risk factor. All of these features strongly evidence the need for a
screening test that can be applied to the general population, to identify a selected group of fetuses for the more
specific, complex, and time-consuming diagnostic test (fetal echocardiography). The systematic visualization of
the four chamber view and the outflow tracts during routine anatomical scan has progressively increased the
prenatal detection rate of CHD. However, a number of potentially diagnosable defects are still missed in the
screening setting. Three-dimensional ultrasonography could provide a useful tool to ameliorate the current
performance of CHD screening; however this possibility needs to be further explored.
Congeniral Heart Disease, Diagnosis, Fetal Echocardiography, Screening.
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Maternal-Fetal Medicine Unit, University of Turin, Italy.