Prenatally Diagnosed Congenital Ventricular Outpouchings: An Institutional Experience and Review of the Literature

Pediatr Cardiol. 2020 Feb;41(2):272-281. doi: 10.1007/s00246-019-02252-7. Epub 2019 Nov 14.


Congenital ventricular outpouchings (CVOs) are rare congenital heart defects with limited data regarding prognosis and outcomes. We aimed to describe the characteristics, outcomes and factors associated with morbidity and mortality of prenatally diagnosed CVOs using our institutional experience and a review of published cases. A total of 86 cases of prenatally diagnosed CVOs were identified, including 3 from our institution and 83 cases identified from a review of the literature. Fetal and postnatal outcomes were analyzed for each case. Pericardial effusions (44%) and ventricular dysfunction (17%) were the most common associated findings. Excluding cases that resulted in pregnancy termination, mortality was 17%, with the majority (11/13) occurring in the prenatal period. Factors associated with mortality included an outpouching located on the left ventricle, a diagnosis of hydrops fetalis, the presence of a pericardial effusion, and an earlier gestational age at diagnosis. Of those that survived to delivery, 57% remained asymptomatic without the need for intervention, and the outpouching regressed or resolved in an additional 15%. Prenatally diagnosed congenital ventricular outpouchings are a dynamic form of congenital heart disease with a high fetal mortality rate. The outcomes associated with the outpouchings appear to be the most variable in the prenatal period and the first year after birth. Serial prenatal and postnatal evaluations should be performed to evaluate for a change in the characteristics of the outpouching.

Keywords: Congenital heart defect; Fetal echocardiography; Pediatric cardiology; Prenatal diagnosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Echocardiography, Doppler, Color
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Heart Septal Defects, Ventricular / diagnostic imaging*
  • Heart Septal Defects, Ventricular / embryology
  • Heart Septal Defects, Ventricular / mortality
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Perinatal Mortality*
  • Pregnancy
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Ultrasonography, Prenatal