Cardiac doppler flows during fetal arrhythmias: Physiologic consequences

Kathryn L. Reed, David Sahn, Gerald R. Marx, Caroline F. Anderson, Lewis Shenker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Scopus citations


Eighty-six fetuses of 21-41 weeks' gestation with arrhythmias were studied with ultrasound and heart ratemonitoring. The type of arrhythmia was identified by M-mode studies and was confirmed by postnatal electrocardio-gram in 70 infants. The most common arrhythmia waspremature atrial contractions (761, followed by prematureventricular contractions (five), paroxysmal supraventriculartachycardia (four), and atrial fibrillation/flutter (one). Dop-pler echocardiography was performed in 54 fetuses to mea-sure flow velocities across the atrioventricular and semilunarvalves. After isolated premature atrial and ventricular con-tractions, post-extrasystolic potentiation was demonstratedby an increase in fractional shortening (N = 32) of 49 2 6%in the right ventricle and 64 2 7% in the left ventricle. Whenpost-extrasystolic beats were compared with normal beats, Doppler-determined time-velocity integrals increased 43%across the tricuspid valve, 41% across the mitral valve, 34%across the pulmonary valve, and 38% across the aortic valve. Mean velocity increased significantly after conversion tonormal sinus rhythm in the five fetuses with supraventricu-lar tachycardia (P

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalObstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

Cite this

Reed, K. L., Sahn, D., Marx, G. R., Anderson, C. F., & Shenker, L. (1987). Cardiac doppler flows during fetal arrhythmias: Physiologic consequences. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 70(1), 1-6.