Heart Failure in Fetuses
Pp. 95-116 (22)
James C. Huhta and Nathalie J. M. Bravo-Valenzuela
Fetal echocardiography began in the late 1970’s with the development of
ultrasound imaging and has progressed to be able to make the diagnosis of many forms
of structural and functional congenital heart disease. Coupled with the pulsed and color
Doppler technique, echocardiography has made advances in determining the prognosis
of individual fetuses in utero. The assessment of fetal cardiac function in fetuses
continues to evolve including many markers of poor prognosis in the fetus. A tool for
this clinical diagnosis is the Cardiovascular Profile Score. This score has become the
“heart failure score” and combines echo markers of fetal cardiovascular functional
deficits that have been correlated with perinatal mortality. The goal of this score is to
detect signs of heart failure before they progress to non-immune-hydrops fetalis. The
fetus with hydrops from noncardiac causes may improve spontaneously, or progress to
develop heart failure and the score can be used in the early assessment of this fetal
clinical picture development. This chapter presents the CVP score for use in fetuses
who appear to have heart failure.
Circulatory system, Doppler, Echocardiography, Fetus, Heart failure, Hemodynamic.
Perinatal Cardiology, Mednax, St. Joseph Hospital, Tampa, FL, United States of America.