Fetal arrhythmias complicate 2% of the pregnancies and they are usually detected at or following the 20th gestational week. A persisting fetal bradycardia is of great importance since the correct diagnosis of its aetiology greatly influences the outcome of the pregnancy. There are four methods to examine the fetal arrhythmias: fetal electrocardiogram detected by scalp electrodes, magnetocardiography, fetal electrocardiogram through the maternal abdominal wall and the fetal echocardiography (M-mode, pulsatile-Doppler, . Tissue-Doppler methods). The fetal electrocardiography is often technically difficult to perform and sometimes it is impossible to analyse it. The Doppler technique, which proved to be the most useful test in determining PR time in the fetus, applies a principle, that gives information about the electrical activity of the fetal heart which can be deduced from the mechanical actions of the atria and ventricles. If the PR distance measured by Doppler or electrocardiography is longer than 150 ms, at any time of the pregnancy, a prompt examination is necessary to rule out me presence of maternal anti-Ro/anti-La autoantibodies and complex fetal arrhythmias. The therapy of fetal bradycardia caused by maternal autoantibodies may be effective, but there are strict indications for their use due to the possible serious side effects of these medications. Transplacental betamethasone, dexamethasone, sympathomimetics, intravenous immunglobuline treatment proved to be effective in many cases. The correct and prompt diagnosis and an appropriate therapy could result in an improved survival and quality of life in patients with severe fetal bradycardia.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Magyar Noorvosok Lapja|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 1 2009|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Reproductive Medicine
- Obstetrics and Gynaecology