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Cardiology Research and Practice
Volume 2014, Article ID 175635, 5 pages
Clinical Study

Prenatal Detection of Congenital Heart Diseases: One-Year Survey Performing a Screening Protocol in a Single Reference Center in Brazil

1Fetal Cardiology Unit, Department of Obstetrics, Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP), 05303-000 São Paulo, SP, Brazil
2Discipline of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP), 05303-000 São Paulo, SP, Brazil

Received 19 August 2013; Revised 13 October 2013; Accepted 23 October 2013; Published 12 January 2014

Academic Editor: H. A. Katus

Copyright © 2014 Luciane Alves Rocha 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.


Objective. To describe the experience of a tertiary center in Brazil to which patients are referred whose fetuses are at increased risk for congenital heart diseases (CHDs). Methods. This was a cross-sectional observational study. The data was collected prospectively, during the year 2012, through a screening protocol of the fetal heart adapted from the International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology (ISUOG) guideline. We performed a fetal echocardiogram screening for all pregnant women who were referred to the fetal cardiology outpatient obstetrics clinic of a university hospital. The exams were classified as normal or abnormal. The cases considered abnormal were undergone to a postnatal echocardiogram. We categorized the abnormal fetal heart according to severity in “complex,” “significant,” “minor,” and “others.” Results. We performed 271 fetal heart screening. The incidence of abnormal screenings was 9.96% (27 fetuses). The structural CHD when categorized due to severity showed 48.1% ( ) of “complex” cases, 18.5% ( ) “significant” cases, and 7.4% ( ) “minor” cases. The most common referral reason was by maternal causes (67%) followed by fetal causes (33%). The main referral indication was maternal metabolic disease (30%), but there was just one fetus with CHD in such cases (1.2%). CHDs were found in 19/29 fetuses with suspicion of some cardiac abnormality by obstetrician (65.5%). Conclusion. We observed a high rate of CHD in our population. We also found that there was higher incidence of complex cases.