P775Fetal heart contractility and gestaional age.

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Purpose: The objective of this study was to evaluate fetal myocardial characteristics and deformation properties, using color coded tissue velocity imaging (TVI), to gain new insights in how the fetal heart develops throughout gestation. The basic idea is to present comparative data giving a more complete overview of the cardiac function. This is essential knowledge in understanding and recognizing fetal myocardial dysfunction, and could enable distinction of pathological patterns for improvement of therapies.Methods: The present study includes 80 healthy fetuses, at a gestational age of 18 to 42 weeks. TVI data were acquired at a frame rate of 201-273 frames/s for off-line analysis using software enabling retrieval of the myocardial velocity curve and 2D anatomical information of the fetal heart. The measurements of left ventricular length and atrioventricular plane displacement were taken from an apical four chamber view. The acquired data was correlated using regression analysis.Results: Atrioventricular plane displacement increased with left ventricular length. Both left ventricular length and atrioventicular displacement increased with gestational age, while the ratio of atrioventricular plane displacement and left ventricular length decreased as pregnancy advanced.Conclusion: The displacement of the atrioventricular plane is not only dependent on left ventricular length but also on gestational age, which implies that the contractility of the fetal heart decreases with gestational age as pregnancy advances.

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