Fetal arrhythmias: Intrauterine diagnosis, treatment and prognosis

Y. Maeno, Y. Kiyomatsu, N. Rikitake, O. Toyoda, T. Miyake, T. Akagi, M. Ishii, T. Kawano, T. Kazue, J. Ishimatu, H. Kato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Fetal echocardiography can provide useful information for the evaluation of fetal arrhythmias. Between 1980 and 1993, 44 fetuses with arrhythmias were diagnosed in utero at 12 and 40 weeks of gestation in Kurume University Hospital. Fetal bradycardia, tachycardia and ectopic beats were revealed in 17, seven and 20 fetuses, respectively, and their clinical features and prognosis were evaluated. In the 17 fetuses with bradycardia, eight were associated with congenital heart defect, and six of these developed to fetal hydrops. Of the 17 fetuses, four died in utero, one was terminated, and six died after birth. The other six cases survived. Three of these had a pacemaker implanted after birth. In the seven fetuses with tachycardia, transplacental anti-arrhythmic drugs were administered in five cases and conversion of the arrhythmia was achieved in four. None of the cases was associated with any congenital heart defect, and none died. Three infants had paroxysmal tachycardia postnatally. In the 20 fetuses with ectopic beats, arrhythmia was observed postnatally in 10, but all of these were resolved within 3 months after birth. Fetal bradycardias carried a poor prognosis in most cases and further studies are required to establish effective treatment. Some cases of fetal tachycardia developed recurrent tachycardia postnatally. Close follow-up of the newborn is therefore necessary.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)431-436
Number of pages6
JournalActa Paediatrica Japonica (Overseas Edition)
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • fetal arrhythmias
  • fetal echocardiography
  • intrauterine treatment
  • prenatal diagnosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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