Vol 80, No 8 (2009)

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Estimation of the atrioventricular time interval by pulse Doppler in the normal fetal heart

Joanna Dangel, Anita Hamela-Olkowska
Ginekol Pol 2009;80(8).


Abstract Objectives: To assess normative values of the fetal atrioventricular (AV) time interval by pulse-wave Doppler methods on 5-chamber view. Material and methods: Fetal echocardiography exams were performed using Acuson Sequoia 512 in 140 singleton fetuses at 18 to 40 weeks of gestation with sinus rhythm and normal cardiac and extracardiac anatomy. Pulsed Doppler derived AV intervals were measured from left ventricular inflow/outflow view using transabdominal convex 3,5-6 MHz probe. Results: The values of AV time interval ranged from 100 to 150 ms (mean 12311,2). The AV interval was negatively correlated with the heart rhythm (p<0.001). Fetal heart rate decreased as gestation progressed (p<0.001). Thus, the AV intervals increased with the age of gestation (p=0.007). However, in the same subgroup of the fetal heart rate there was no relation between AV intervals and gestational age. Therefore, the AV intervals showed only the heart rate dependence. The 95th percentiles of AV intervals according to FHR ranged from 135 to 148 ms. Conclusions: 1. The AV interval duration was negatively correlated with the heart rhythm. 2. Measurement of AV time interval is easy to perform and has a good reproducibility. It may be used for the fetal heart block screening in anti-Ro and anti-La positive pregnancies. 3. Normative values established in the study may help obstetricians in assessing fetal abnormalities of the AV conduction.

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