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BioMed Research International
Volume 2016, Article ID 2616729, 9 pages
Research Article

Assessment of Structural and Functional Abnormalities of the Myocardium and the Ascending Aorta in Fetus with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome

1Department of Ultrasound, Xinqiao Hospital, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing 400037, China
2Department of Pathology, Xinqiao Hospital, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing 400037, China

Received 12 November 2015; Revised 12 January 2016; Accepted 21 January 2016

Academic Editor: Francesco Onorati

Copyright © 2016 Yan Jiang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Aims. To detect anatomical and intrinsic histopathological features of the ascending aorta and left ventricular (LV) myocardium and evaluate right ventricular (RV) function in fetuses with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS). Methods. Twenty-five fetuses diagnosed with HLHS were followed up in the antenatal and postpartum periods. 12 necropsy heart specimens were analyzed for morphological and histological changes. Results. Prenatal echocardiography and pathologic anatomy displayed the typical characteristics of HLHS as a severe underdevelopment of the LV in the form of mitral stenosis or atresia or as aortic atresia or stenosis, with a decreased ratio of aortic diameter to pulmonary artery diameter (median of 0.49 with a range of 0.24 to 0.69, ) and a higher ratio of RV diameter to LV diameter (median of 2.44 with a range of 1.33 to 6.25, ). The RV volume, stroke volume, and cardiac output in HLHS fetuses were increased compared with the gestational age-matched normal controls (). Histological changes in the 12 HLHS specimens included LV myocardial fibrosis, aortic elastic fragmentation, and fibrosis. Conclusions. In addition to severe anatomical deformity, distinct histological abnormalities in the LV myocardium and aortic wall were identified in the fetuses with HLHS. RV function damage may be potentially exists.