Author(s): Szwast A, Tian Z, McCann M, Donaghue D, Bebbington M,
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Abstract OBJECTIVES: In the fetus with a structurally normal heart, two conditions--giant chest mass, such as congenital cystic adenomatoid malformation (CCAM), and twin-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS)--alter ventricular loading conditions and may result in cardiovascular compromise. The aim of this study was to elucidate the mechanism of cardiovascular dysfunction by comparing geometry-independent, Doppler flow-derived measures of ventricular performance in fetuses with altered loading conditions vs. those in normal fetuses. METHODS: Doppler flow-derived measures of myocardial performance index (MPI) as described by Tei, ventricular ejection force as described by Isaaz, and combined cardiac output (CCO) were obtained by echocardiography in fetuses with a normal cardiovascular system (n = 76) or CCAM (n = 36) and fetal partners with TTTS (n = 22). RESULTS: In the CCAM group, systolic performance as evidenced by the ejection forces was preserved, right ventricular (RV) MPI was increased and CCO diminished, suggesting diastolic dysfunction and poor filling secondary to cardiac compression and a tamponade effect. In TTTS, recipient twins exhibited greater left ventricular (LV) ejection forces and higher CCO than donor twins, and had abnormal RV and LV MPI, reflecting increased preload, preserved left systolic performance, but diastolic dysfunction. Donor twins had diminished ejection forces and CCO in comparison with normal controls and recipient partners, reflecting hypovolemia. CONCLUSIONS: In both CCAM and recipient twins of the TTTS, diastolic dysfunction plays a significant role in the pathophysiology of each disorder and precedes changes in systolic performance. Measures of ventricular performance can help elucidate poorly understood mechanisms of cardiovascular compromise in the developing fetus.
This article was published in Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Cardiology