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To evaluate the impact of fetal haemodynamics on surgical and neurodevelopmental outcomes in severe Ebstein anomaly and tricuspid valve dysplasia.
Thirty-four fetuses with Ebstein anomaly/tricuspid valve dysplasia were referred from 2013 to 2019 for fetal echocardiography and clinical management. Nineteen fetuses with Ebstein anomaly/tricuspid valve dysplasia and 30 controls underwent cardiovascular magnetic resonance to quantify the fetal blood flow and to calculate cerebral oxygen delivery (cDO2) and consumption (cVO2). The 3D steady-state free precession acquisition was used to measure fetal brain volume. Surgical outcome, brain MRI, and neurodevelopmental follow-up were reviewed.
Twenty-six fetuses were live born (76%) and survival (65%) at a mean follow-up of 4 years. Nine fetuses had a brain MRI before discharge, and all had clinically silent injuries and volume loss. At 18 months, five single-ventricle patients had a neurodevelopmental delay in cognition and language (mean percentile: 11th), with gross-motor skills more affected than fine-motor skills (mean percentiles: 4th and 34th). Fetuses with Ebstein anomaly/tricuspid valve dysplasia had smaller brains, lower combined ventricular output, ascending aorta, superior caval vien and umbilical vein flows, lower oxygen saturation in ascending aorta and superior caval vien, lower cDO2 and cVO2 (p < 0.05). Superior caval vien/combined ventricular output and descending aorta/combined ventricular output ratios were lower in fetuses with circular shunt (p < 0.05). Fetuses requiring the Starnes procedure tended to have smaller brains, lower combined ventricular output, superior caval vien, descending aorta, and umbilical vein flows.
All patients with Ebstein anomaly/tricuspid valve dysplasia are at high risk of neurodevelopmental delay and warrant follow-up. Fetal cardiovascular magnetic resonance revealed impaired brain growth with diminished cerebral blood flow and cDO2, the extenting dependent on the severity of the haemodynamic compromise.
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