Understanding congenital heart defects through abdominal fetal electrocardiography: Case reports and clinical implications

Clarissa Velayo, Naoaki Sato, Takuya Ito, Hiroshi Chisaka, Nobuo Yaegashi, Kunihiro Okamura, Yoshitaka Kimura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Aims: Congenital heart defects are the most common fetal structural anomalies of which a significant number remain unrecognized during postnatal life. Fetal electrocardiography (FECG) is an ideal clinical tool to complement ultrasonography for the screening and management of these cases where early and accurate diagnoses would allow definite rather than palliative treatment. The objective of this report was to correlate the particular FECG results found with the different types of congenital heart defects involved and to further demonstrate the usefulness of FECG in clinical settings. Material &Methods: This is a report of four cases of prenatally diagnosed congenital heart defects seen at a university hospital in Sendai, Japan. Their complete and thorough evaluation included, among other tests, abdominal FECG analysis. Results: The presence of premature ventricular contractions, a prolonged pre-ejection period (PEP > 75 msec), and prolonged QTc intervals (QTc > 440 msec) served as markers of hemodynamic alteration but were unlikely determinants of disease severity precluding further investigation. Conclusions: In practice, similar findings found on FECG should raise the index of suspicion for the presence of congenital heart disease and prompt a targeted ultrasound scan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)428-435
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2011 May


  • Congenital heart defects
  • Fetal cardiac electrophysiology
  • Fetal electrocardiogram
  • Prenatal diagnosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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