Fetal cardiac Doppler flow studies in prenatal diagnosis of heart disease

Lewis Shenker, Kathryn L. Reed, Gerald R. Marx, Richard L. Donnerstein, Hugh D. Allen, Caroline F. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The prenatal diagnosis of fetal cardiac disease has become increasingly accurate as the technology of ultrasound has improved. Although two-dimensional real-time ultrasound remains the primary method of diagnosis, Doppler blood flow velocity estimates can provide valuable pathophysiologic information to support the anatomic diagnosis. We present six cases in which Doppler studies contributed to the accuracy of the diagnosis of fetal heart disease, including tetralogy of Fallot, right and left ventricular hypoplasia, atrioventricular canal defect, double-outlet right ventricle, and pulmonic stenosis. Velocities in these cases are compared with those in normal fetuses. If Doppler flow velocities are not consistent with the observed morphologic changes, further observations are indicated. Inasmuch as most anatomical heart lesions result in altered flow patterns, Doppler investigations of intracardiac and extra cardiac flow should be a routine component of the fetal echocardiogram when structural abnormalities are found.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1267-1273
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number6 PART 1
StatePublished - Jun 1988


  • Doppler flow velocities
  • congenital heart disease
  • prenatal diagnosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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