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Infants with prenatally diagnosed CHD are at high risk for adverse outcomes owing to multiple physiologic and psychosocial factors. Lack of immediate physical postnatal contact because of rapid initiation of medical therapy impairs maternal–infant bonding. On the basis of expected physiology, maternal–infant bonding may be safe for select cardiac diagnoses.
This is a single-centre study to assess safety of maternal–infant bonding in prenatal CHD.
In total, 157 fetuses with prenatally diagnosed CHD were reviewed. On the basis of cardiac diagnosis, 91 fetuses (58%) were prenatally approved for bonding and successfully bonded, 38 fetuses (24%) were prenatally approved but deemed not suitable for bonding at delivery, and 28 (18%) were not prenatally approved to bond. There were no complications attributable to bonding. Those who successfully bonded were larger in weight (3.26 versus 2.6 kg, p<0.001) and at later gestation (39 versus 38 weeks, p<0.001). Those unsuccessful at bonding were more likely to have been delivered via Caesarean section (74 versus 49%, p=0.011) and have additional non-cardiac diagnoses (53 versus 29%, p=0.014). There was no significant difference regarding the need for cardiac intervention before hospital discharge. Infants who bonded had shorter hospital (7 versus 26 days, p=0.02) and ICU lengths of stay (5 versus 23 days, p=0.002) and higher survival (98 versus 76%, p<0.001).
Fetal echocardiography combined with a structured bonding programme can permit mothers and infants with select types of CHD to successfully bond before ICU admission and intervention.
Aortic arch obstruction can be evaluated by catheter peak-to-peak gradient or by Doppler peak instantaneous pressure gradient. Previous studies have shown moderate correlation in discrete coarctation, but few have assessed correlation in patients with more complex aortic reconstruction.
We carried out retrospective comparison of cardiac catheterisations and pre- and post-catheterisation echocardiograms in 60 patients with native/recurrent coarctation or aortic reconstruction. Aortic arch obstruction was defined as peak-to-peak gradient ⩾25 mmHg in patients with native/recurrent coarctation and ⩾10 mmHg in aortic reconstruction.
Diastolic continuation of flow was not associated with aortic arch obstruction in either group. Doppler peak instantaneous pressure gradient, with and without the expanded Bernoulli equation, weakly correlated with peak-to-peak gradient even in patients with a normal cardiac index (r=0.36, p=0.016, and r=0.49, p=0.001, respectively). Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis identified an area under the curve of 0.61 for patients with all types of obstruction, with a cut-off point of 45 mmHg correctly classifying 64% of patients with arch obstruction (sensitivity 39%, specificity 89%). In patients with aortic arch reconstruction who had a cardiac index ⩾3 L/min/m2, a cut-off point of 23 mmHg correctly classified 69% of patients (71% sensitivity, 50% specificity) with an area under the curve of 0.82.
The non-invasive assessment of aortic obstruction remains challenging. The greatest correlation of Doppler indices was noted in patients with aortic reconstruction and a normal cardiac index.