Sonographic diagnosis of congenital heart disease: Comparison between the four-chamber view and multiple cardiac views

Thomas R. Wigton*, Rudy E. Sabbagha, Ralph K Tamura, Leeber S Cohen, John P. Minogue, Janette F. Strasburger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


Objective: To report our experience in the detection of congenital heart disease using both the four-chamber view of the heart as part of the standard obstetric ultrasound examination and multiple cardiac views as part of the detailed targeted examination. Methods: All admissions to Children’s Memorial Hospital of Northwestern University Medical Center with the diagnosis of congenital heart disease between June 1988 and April 1992 were identified (N = 1947). These admissions were matched to deliveries (N = 19,321) that occurred at Prentice Women’s Hospital during the same period; of these, 10,004 had at least one obstetric ultrasound examination. All fetuses were scanned either with the standard obstetric ultrasound type of examination, featuring only the four-chamber view of the heart, or by the detailed targeted imaging type of study, featuring multiple cardiac views. The type of examination performed was based on the specific request of the attending obstetrician or gynecologist. Results: Thirty-three neonates who had at least one obstetric ultrasound examination were treated for congenital heart disease. An additional five pregnancies were terminated secondary to serious fetal heart defects. When only the four-chamber view was visualized, 11 of 33 fetuses (33.3%) with confirmed congenital heart disease were detected. Conclusions: Assessment of the outflow tracts is crucial for detection of many forms of congenital heart disease. However, before this is accepted as the standard of care, both the obstetric and radiologic communities should develop their skills in cardiac imaging. Only then can this sophisticated type of cardiac examination be offered to pregnant women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)219-224
Number of pages6
JournalObstetrics and gynecology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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