Human fetal right ventricular ejection force under abnormal loading conditions during the second half of pregnancy

J. Rasanen, R. H. Debbs, D. C. Wood, S. Weiner, S. R. Weil, J. C. Huhta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

Our objective was to determine whether abnormal loading conditions can modify human fetal right ventricular ejection force during the second half of pregnancy. By Doppler echocardiography, we studied 73 normal fetuses between 19 and 41 weeks of gestation, 27 fetuses with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (chronic volume overload) between 18 and 38 weeks of gestation, 14 fetuses with mild to moderate constriction of the ductus arteriosus (pulsatility index (PI) between 1.0 and 1.9) and seven fetuses with severe constriction (PI < 1.0) or occlusion of the ductus arteriosus (relatively acute pressure overload) between 28 and 34 weeks of gestation. In the normal and ductul constriction/occlusion groups, blood velocity waveforms were recorded at the level of the aortic and pulmonary valves, and in the group with hypoplastic left heart syndrome at the level of the pulmonary valve. The ventricular ejection forces were calculated. In the normal group, right (RVEF; r = 0.91, p < 0.0001) and left (LVEF; r = 0.86, p < 0.0001) ventricular ejection forces increased and were equal during the second half of gestation. In the group with hypoplastic left heart syndrome the RVEF increased (r = 0.76, p < 0.0001) with advancing gestation. The RVEF (p < 0.0005) and its average weekly increase (p < 0.0001) were greater in the hypoplastic left heart syndrome group than in the normal group. In the group with mild to moderate ductal constriction, both ventricular ejection forces were similar to those of the normal group. The RVEF (p < 0.003) and its average weekly increase (p < 0.03) were lower in the group with severe ductal constriction or occlusion than in the normal group. The LVEF did not differ from that of the normal group. We conclude that chronic volume overload increases and relatively acute pressure overload decreases human fetal RVEF. The right ventricular performance is modified by abnormal loading conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)325-332
Number of pages8
JournalUltrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Volume10
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 1997

Keywords

  • Echocardiography
  • Fetal heart
  • Hemodynamics
  • Physiology
  • Ultrasonics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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