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Aortic coarctation: prognostic indicators of survival in the fetus
  1. D Paladini1,
  2. P Volpe2,
  3. M G Russo3,
  4. M Vassallo1,
  5. G Sclavo1,
  6. M Gentile4
  1. 1Fetal Cardiology Unit, Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, University Federico II of Naples, Naples, Italy
  2. 2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Di Venere-Giovanni XXIII Hospital, Bari, Italy
  3. 3Department of Pediatric Cardiology, 2nd University of Naples, Monaldi Hospital, Naples, Italy
  4. 4Department of Medical Genetics, I.R.C.C.S. Saverio de Bellis, Castellana Grotte–Bari, Italy
  1. Correspondence to:
    Professor Dario Paladini
    Via Petrarca, 72, 80122–Naples, Italy;

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Prenatal diagnosis of aortic coarctation (AoCo) is feasible and has been shown to improve survival of affected neonates.1 However, AoCo represents the main determinant of both false negative and false positive diagnoses of congenital heart disease (CHD) in the fetus.2,3 As a primary lesion, it accounts for 7.1–8.3% of CHD in fetal series and is significantly associated with chromosomal and extra-cardiac anomalies.2,3 We report here a retrospective analysis conducted on a population of 68 fetuses diagnosed with AoCo confirmed at necropsy or after birth.

The objectives of this study are to analyse the characteristics, associations, and outcome of AoCo when diagnosed in the fetus and to evaluate the prognostic impact of these characteristics on survival.


This study is an observational analysis including all fetuses with a primary diagnosis of isolated AoCo seen at two referral centres over an eight year period (1995–2002). Of the original 166 fetuses, 98 were excluded (association with other major CHDs in 71 cases, lesion unconfirmed at birth in 18 cases, necropsy/surgical confirmation not available in nine cases). The remaining 68 cases with confirmed AoCo represent the study population. All fetuses underwent fetal echocardiography and a detailed anomaly scan. All examinations were performed with high resolution ultrasound systems (Prosound 5000 and 5500 Aloka, Tokyo, Japan; Toshiba Powervision 6000, Tokyo, Japan). The following variables were entered in the analysis: indication for …

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