Objectives: Fetal magnetocardiography (FMCG), a new non-invasive diagnostic tool in the analysis of the electrophysiological changes of the heart, was selectively applied in cases of fetal arrhythmias and congenital heart defect (CHD) to demonstrate its value for diagnosis and prenatal management.
Methods: The FMCG was analysed and compared to the postnatal ECG in four cases of fetal arrhythmia [supraventricular tachycardia (two cases), complex tachy-/bradycardia (one case), ventricular extrasystoles (one case)] and a case of right heart hypoplasia diagnosed by established methods prior to investigation.
Results: A Wolf-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome was diagnosed by its characteristic features and the appropriate transplacental therapy chosen. The types of arrhythmia could be characterised in accordance with postnatal ECG findings and irregular conduction was demonstrated in association with a CHD.
Conclusions: The use of the FMCG provides additional information to the common diagnostic tools that influence therapeutic decisions and thus contributes to optimal pre- and postnatal management.
Copyright 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.