Functional Assessment Of Fetal Heart


Assistant Professor of Radiology, (TUMS), Yas Hospital



Evaluation of fetal cardiac function is one of the most important components of fetal echocardiography. Cardiac function might provide importantinformation on fetal hemodynamic adaptation or deterioration.  A variety of functional tests  can  be  used,  but  there is no single clinical standard. To maintainnormal cardiac function, both systolic and diastolic processes must be preserved and time events must occur in a synchronized manner. Ventricular inflow characteristics; the duration of the left ventricular  IR time; and the systemic and pulmonary venous Doppler flow patterns are used for evaluation of diastolic function. An abnormal shortening fraction or decreased cardiac output are usually indicative of myocardial compromise and systolic dysfunction. Myocardial Performance Index (MPI) is a widely used ratio to describe the systolic and diastolic function of the heart in echocardiography.
Fetal cardiac dysfunction may be due to an  intrinsic myocardial disease or to a secondary adaptive mechanism. Detailed functional assessment should be performed if cardiac function appears impaired.