This article reviews important features for improving the diagnosis and management of fetal arrhythmias. The normal fetal heart rate ranges between 110 and 160 beats per minute. A fetal heart rate is considered abnormal if the heart rate is beyond the normal ranges or the rhythm is irregular. The rate, duration, and origin of the rhythm and degree of irregularity usually determine the potential for hemodynamic consequences. Most of the fetal rhythm disturbances are the result of premature atrial contractions (PACs) and are of little clinical significance. Other arrhythmias include tachyarrhythmias (heart rate in excess of 160 beats/min) such as atrioventricular (AV) reentry tachycardia, atrial flutter, and ventricular tachycardia, and bradyarrhythmias (heart rate <110 beats/min) such as sinus node dysfunction, complete heart block (CHB) and long QT syndrome (which is associated with sinus bradycardia and pseudo-heart block).
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)