Three-Dimensional Sonography in the Prenatal Diagnosis of Aortic Arch Abnormalities

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Abstract

Purpose.

To assess the added value of 3-dimensional (3D) echocardiography with spatiotemporal image correlation (STIC) in the diagnosis of aortic arch abnormalities in fetuses with isolated abnormal upper thoracic 3-vessel view (3VV).

Method.

A total of 3,420 women underwent a targeted anatomic survey at 18-22 weeks' gestation in a 1-year period. An isolated abnormal upper thoracic 3VV detected on 2-dimensional (2D) imaging was followed up by conventional 2D echocardiography and 3D fetal echocardiography with STIC. Offiine reconstruction by a second operator blinded to the suspected diagnosis was performed. Neonatal echocardiography and MRI with 3D reconstruction were performed to verify the prenatal diagnosis.

Result.

Of the 3,420 patients referred, 4 had an isolated abnormal 3VV (0.09%). A right-sided aortic arch (RAA, n = 3) and double aortic arch (DAA, n = 1) were suspected. In all aortic arch abnormalities, 3D fetal echocardiography and STIC correctly identified RAA with aberrant left subclavian artery in 3 cases and DAA in 1 case with a degree of definition that was equal to the confirmatory postnatal echocardiography and 3D MRI.

Conclusion.

Although the 2D upper 3VV is a powerful screening tool for isolated aortic arch abnormalities, 3D fetal echocardiography with STIC allows an accurate prenatal characterization of the abnormality to a degree that is typically attainable only by post partum imaging.

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