Congenital heart disease and extracardiac anomalies: associations and indications for fetal echocardiography

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1986 May;154(5):1121-32. doi: 10.1016/0002-9378(86)90773-8.


Fetal echocardiography is a well-established technique for the prenatal identification of congenital heart disease. One of the indications for its use is the presence of extracardiac anomalies, as such coexistent defects may have important implications for obstetric and neonatal management. We have reviewed the obstetric and pediatric literature to examine reported associations. If a fetus is suspected to have hydrocephalus, microcephaly, holoprosencephaly, agenesis of the corpus callosum, Meckel-Gruber syndrome, esophageal atresia, duodenal atresia, diaphragmatic hernia, omphalocele, or renal dysplasia, cardiac evaluation should be pursued. Furthermore, echocardiography may be of help in differential diagnosis of some anomalies (for instance, skeletal dysplasias). Maternal diabetes and phenylketonuria, as well as exposure to phenytoin, trimethadione, or isotretinoin, may result in multiple systemic defects, including congenital heart disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Muscles / abnormalities
  • Abnormalities, Drug-Induced / diagnosis
  • Abnormalities, Multiple / diagnosis
  • Central Nervous System / abnormalities
  • Chromosome Aberrations / diagnosis
  • Chromosome Disorders
  • Congenital Abnormalities / diagnosis*
  • Digestive System Abnormalities
  • Echocardiography*
  • Female
  • Fetal Heart / physiology*
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Phenylketonurias / complications
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / diagnosis
  • Pregnancy in Diabetics / complications
  • Prenatal Diagnosis / methods*
  • Respiratory System Abnormalities
  • Urogenital Abnormalities