The Polish National Registry for Fetal Cardiac Pathology: organization, diagnoses, management, educational aspects and telemedicine endeavors

Prenat Diagn. 2012 May;32(5):456-60. doi: 10.1002/pd.3838. Epub 2012 Apr 12.


Objective: We describe the National Registry for Fetal Cardiac Pathology, a program under the Polish Ministry of Health aimed at improving the prenatal diagnosis, care, and management of congenital heart disease (CHD).

Methods: An online database was created to prospectively record diagnosis, prenatal care, delivery, follow-up, and still images and video for fetuses with CHD. A certification program in fetal cardiac ultrasound was also implemented. Optimal screening and referral centers were identified by number of fetuses entered in the Registry yearly by each center.

Results: From 2004 to 2009, 2910 fetuses with CHD were registered (2473 structural, 437 functional anomalies). The most common reasons for referral for fetal echocardiography were abnormal four-chamber view (56.0%) and extra-cardiac anomalies (8.2% ), while the most common diagnoses were atrioventricular septal defects (10.2%) and hypoplastic left heart syndrome (9.7%). Prenatal diagnosis increased yearly, from 10.0% of neonatal diagnoses in 2003 to 38.0% in 2008.

Conclusion: From inception of the registry up to 2009 there has been a fourfold increase in the number of neonates referred for cardiac surgery in whom the condition was prenatally diagnosed. Equally important achievements include the establishment of a certification program for fetal echocardiography and the organization of prenatal and neonatal management.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Echocardiography
  • Female
  • Heart Defects, Congenital*
  • Humans
  • Poland
  • Pregnancy
  • Registries*
  • Telemedicine
  • Ultrasonography, Prenatal