To determine the developmental changes in the myocardial current during fetal life, and to evaluate the clinical usefulness of magnetocardiography for prenatal diagnosis of cardiac hypertrophy or enlargement, we approximated the magnitude of the one-current dipole of the fetal heart using fetal magnetocardiography (fMCG). A total of 95 fetuses with gestational age of 20-40 wk were included in this study. fMCG was recorded with a nine-channel superconducting quantum interference device system in a magnetically shielded room. The magnitude of the dipole (Q) was calculated using an equation based on the fMCG amplitude obtained on the maternal abdomen and the distance between the maternal surface and fetal heart measured ultrasonographically. In uncomplicated pregnancies, the Q value correlated significantly with gestational age, reflecting an increase in the amount of myocardial current, i.e. myocardial mass. Moreover, the Q values in fetuses with cardiomegaly caused by various cardiovascular abnormalities tended to be higher than the normal values. Although there are some limitations of the methodology based on the half-space model, and fetal orientation may influence the magnitude of the dipole, making it smaller, fMCG recorded with a multichannel superconducting quantum interference device system is a clinically useful tool for noninvasive, prenatal, and electrical evaluation of fetal cardiac hypertrophy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health