Author(s): Matsui H, Mellander M, Roughton M, Jicinska H, Gardiner HM
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Prenatal diagnosis of aortic coarctation suffers from high false-negative rates at screening and poor specificity. METHODS AND RESULTS: This retrospective study tested the applicability of published aortic arch and ductal Z scores (measured just before the descending aorta in the 3-vessel and tracheal view) and their ratio on 200 consecutive normal controls at a median of 22+/-0 gestational weeks (range, 15+/-4 to 38+/-4 weeks). Second, this study tested the ability of serial Z scores to distinguish fetuses with coarctation within a cohort with ventricular and/or great arterial disproportion detected at screening or fetal echocardiography. Third, it evaluated the diagnostic significance of associated cardiac lesions, coarctation shelf, and isthmal flow disturbance. We studied 44 fetuses with suspected coarctation at 24+/-0 weeks (range, 17+/-3 to 37+/-4 weeks). Receiver-operating characteristic curves were created. Logistic regression tested the association between z scores, additional cardiac diagnoses, and coarctation. Good separation was found of isthmal Z scores for cases requiring surgery from controls and false-positive cases, and receiver-operating characteristic curves showed an excellent area under the curve for isthmal Z score (0.963) and isthmal-to-ductal ratio (0.969). Serial isthmal Z scores improved to >-2 in suspected cases with normal outcomes; those requiring surveillance or surgery remained <-2. Minor lesions did not increase the diagnostic specificity of coarctation, but isthmal flow disturbance increased the odds ratio of true coarctation versus arch hypoplasia 16-fold. CONCLUSIONS: Isthmal Z scores and isthmal-to-ductal ratio are sensitive indicators of fetal coarctation. Serial measurements and abnormal isthmal flow patterns improve diagnostic specificity and may reduce false positives.
This article was published in Circulation
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Cardiology