BACKGROUND: The prenatal diagnosis of an isolated congenital heart defect is a matter of concern for parents. The decision of whether to terminate the pregnancy according to the different types of congenital heart defects has not been investigated yet.OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to evaluate the frequency of voluntary termination of pregnancy after the prenatal diagnosis of a congenital heart defect in a tertiary care center.STUDY DESIGN: This was a retrospective study of patients who were referred to our center from January 2013 to December 2019, underwent fetal echocardiography, and were counseled by a perinatologist and a pediatric cardiologist. The following data were collected: prenatal diagnosis, including genetic testing; gestational age at diagnosis; and outcome of pregnancy. The diagnoses were stratified retrospectively according to the type of congenital heart defect and its severity (low complexity, moderate complexity, and high complexity) by a perinatologist and a pediatric cardiologist.RESULTS: Of 704 women who received a diagnosis of fetal congenital heart defect, 531 (75.4%) were seen before 23 weeks' gestation, which is the upper limit imposed for the termination of pregnancy by the Italian legislation. Congenital heart defects were apparently isolated in 437 of 531 cases (82.3%). Overall, 108 of 531 patients (20.3%) requested a termination of pregnancy. The rate of termination of pregnancy was found to vary according to the severity of congenital heart defects: low complexity, 0%; moderate complexity, 12.1%, and high complexity, 33.2% (P<.001). The presence or absence of associated anomalies or the ethnicity of the couples was not found to have an influence on women's decisions.CONCLUSION: In our population, the decision to terminate a pregnancy after the diagnosis of a fetal congenital heart defect is influenced by the surgical complexity of the congenital heart defect itself. However, most patients, including those with the most severe forms of congenital heart defect, decided to continue the pregnancy.

Montaguti, E., Balducci, A., Perolo, A., Livi, A., Contro, E., Casadio, P., et al. (2020). Prenatal diagnosis of congenital heart defects and voluntary termination of pregnancy. AMERICAN JOURNAL OF OBSTETRICS & GYNECOLOGY, MATERNAL-FETAL MEDICINE, 2(4), 100207-100211 [10.1016/j.ajogmf.2020.100207].

Prenatal diagnosis of congenital heart defects and voluntary termination of pregnancy

Montaguti, Elisa;Balducci, Anna;Livi, Alessandra;Contro, Elena;Casadio, Paolo;Gargiulo, Gaetano;Pilu, Gianluigi
2020

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The prenatal diagnosis of an isolated congenital heart defect is a matter of concern for parents. The decision of whether to terminate the pregnancy according to the different types of congenital heart defects has not been investigated yet.OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to evaluate the frequency of voluntary termination of pregnancy after the prenatal diagnosis of a congenital heart defect in a tertiary care center.STUDY DESIGN: This was a retrospective study of patients who were referred to our center from January 2013 to December 2019, underwent fetal echocardiography, and were counseled by a perinatologist and a pediatric cardiologist. The following data were collected: prenatal diagnosis, including genetic testing; gestational age at diagnosis; and outcome of pregnancy. The diagnoses were stratified retrospectively according to the type of congenital heart defect and its severity (low complexity, moderate complexity, and high complexity) by a perinatologist and a pediatric cardiologist.RESULTS: Of 704 women who received a diagnosis of fetal congenital heart defect, 531 (75.4%) were seen before 23 weeks' gestation, which is the upper limit imposed for the termination of pregnancy by the Italian legislation. Congenital heart defects were apparently isolated in 437 of 531 cases (82.3%). Overall, 108 of 531 patients (20.3%) requested a termination of pregnancy. The rate of termination of pregnancy was found to vary according to the severity of congenital heart defects: low complexity, 0%; moderate complexity, 12.1%, and high complexity, 33.2% (P<.001). The presence or absence of associated anomalies or the ethnicity of the couples was not found to have an influence on women's decisions.CONCLUSION: In our population, the decision to terminate a pregnancy after the diagnosis of a fetal congenital heart defect is influenced by the surgical complexity of the congenital heart defect itself. However, most patients, including those with the most severe forms of congenital heart defect, decided to continue the pregnancy.
2020
Montaguti, E., Balducci, A., Perolo, A., Livi, A., Contro, E., Casadio, P., et al. (2020). Prenatal diagnosis of congenital heart defects and voluntary termination of pregnancy. AMERICAN JOURNAL OF OBSTETRICS & GYNECOLOGY, MATERNAL-FETAL MEDICINE, 2(4), 100207-100211 [10.1016/j.ajogmf.2020.100207].
Montaguti, Elisa; Balducci, Anna; Perolo, Antonella; Livi, Alessandra; Contro, Elena; Casadio, Paolo; Donti, Andrea; Angeli, Emanuela; Gargiulo, Gaetano; Pilu, Gianluigi
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/805852
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