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Prenatal detection rates for congenital heart disease using abnormal obstetrical screening ultrasound alone as indication for fetal echocardiography.

Prenatal Diagnosis 2024 March 16
OBJECTIVE: To determine the live born prenatal detection rate of significant congenital heart disease (CHD) in a large, integrated, multi-center community-based health system using a strategy of referral only of patients with significant cardiac abnormalities on obstetrical screening ultrasound for fetal echocardiography. Detection rates were assessed for screening in both radiology and maternal fetal medicine (MFM). The impact on fetal echocardiography utilization was also assessed.

METHODS: This was a retrospective cohort study using an electronic health record, outside claims databases and chart review to determine all live births between 2016 and 2020 with postnatally confirmed sCHD that were prenatally detectable and resulted in cardiac surgery, intervention, or death within 1 year.

RESULTS: There were 214,486 pregnancies resulting in live births. Prenatally detectable significant CHD was confirmed in 294 infants. Of those 183 were detected for an overall live-born detection rate of 62%. Detection rates in MFM were 75% and in radiology were 52%. The number of fetal echocardiograms needed to detect (NND) sCHD was 7.

CONCLUSIONS: A focus on quality and standardization of obstetrical screening ultrasound with referral to fetal echocardiography for cardiac abnormalities alone achieves benchmark targets for live-born detection of significant CHD requiring fewer fetal echocardiograms.

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