Prenatal diagnosis of congestive heart failure in a fetus with a sacrococcygeal teratoma

Dale N. Alter, Kathryn L. Reed, Gerald R. Marx, Caroline F. Anderson, Lewis Shenker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Two-dimensional Doppler echocardiography was used to diagnose congestive heart failure in a fetus with a large sacrococcygeal teratoma. Ultrasound performed for size-date inconsistency revealed a 27.5-week fetus with hydrops and a large solid and cystic mass in the sacral region. Fetal echocardiography showed dilated ventricles and a pericardial effusion; Doppler ultrasound demonstrated increased velocities and volume flows, along with tricuspid and mitral regurgitation. At delivery, the mass was bleeding actively, the amniotic fluid was markedly bloody, and the neonatal hematocrit was 10%. We postulate that intrauterine hemorrhage from the teratoma led to anemia and high-output cardiac failure confirmed by Doppler echocardiography, and suggest that all fetuses with sacrococcygeal teratomas be evaluated by two-dimensional Doppler echocardiography to detect the presence of congestive heart failure, in order to allow well-timed therapeutic interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)978-981
Number of pages4
JournalObstetrics and gynecology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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