Two-Dimensional Echocardiography Estimates of Fetal Ventricular Mass throughout Gestation.

Document Type



Obstetrics and Gynaecology (East Africa)


Background: Two-dimensional (2D) ultrasound quality has improved in recent years. Quantification of cardiac dimensions is important to screen and monitor certain fetal conditions. We assessed the feasibility and reproducibility of fetal ventricular measures using 2D echocardiography, reported normal ranges in our cohort, and compared estimates to other modalities.

Methods: Mass and end-diastolic volume were estimated by manual contouring in the four-chamber view using TomTec Image Arena 4.6 in end diastole. Nomograms were created from smoothed centiles of measures, constructed using fractional polynomials after log transformation. The results were compared to those of previous studies using other modalities.

Results: A total of 294 scans from 146 fetuses from 15+0 to 41+6 weeks of gestation were included. Seven percent of scans were unanalysable and intraobserver variability was good (intraclass correlation coefficients for left and right ventricular mass 0.97 [0.87-0.99] and 0.99 [0.95-1.0], respectively). Mass and volume increased exponentially, showing good agreement with 3D mass estimates up to 28 weeks of gestation, after which our measurements were in better agreement with neonatal cardiac magnetic resonance imaging. There was good agreement with 4D volume estimates for the left ventricle.

Conclusion: Current state-of-the-art 2D echocardiography platforms provide accurate, feasible, and reproducible fetal ventricular measures across gestation, and in certain circumstances may be the modality of choice.


Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy