Sonographic spectrum of fetal cardiac hypoplasia

John P McGahan, Michael Choy, Mark D Parrish, W. E. Brant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Four cases of hypoplastic left ventricle and three cases of hypoplastic right ventricle detected sonographically prenatally are presented. A four-chamber view of the heart was abnormal in all seven cases. The sonographic appearance of the hypoplastic ventricle was variable, being smaller than normal in six of seven cases and not being identified at all in one case. Other ultrasound findings included an atrial septal defect (n = 7); increased size of the contralateral ventricle (n = 6); nonvisualization or poor visualization of the outflow tract of the affected ventricle (n = 6), and intact ventricular septum (n = 5). In one of four cases of hypoplastic left ventricle the pregnancy was terminated; the other three infants died within 5 days after birth. One of the three fetuses with hypoplastic right ventricle was aborted. Of the remaining two infants included one had tricuspid atresia with a ventricular septal defect and one had pulmonary atresia with an intact ventricular septum. Both infants are alive, have had palliative surgery, and will be considered for a more definitive surgical repair. An abnormal four-chamber view of the heart should alert those performing routine obstetrical ultrasound to a possible hypoplastic ventricle, so that the pregnant woman can be referred to a center capable of performing more sophisticated fetal echocardiography.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)539-546
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Ultrasound in Medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology


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