Impact of prenatally diagnosed congenital heart defects on outcomes and management

J Clin Ultrasound. 2022 Jun;50(5):646-654. doi: 10.1002/jcu.23219. Epub 2022 May 11.


Fetal echocardiogram aids in prenatal identification of neonates at high risk for congenital heart defects (CHD). Prenatal detection rates for CHD have increased with improved ultrasound technology, the use of the early fetal echocardiography, and standardization of the performance of the fetal echocardiogram. Accurate prenatal detection of CHD, particularly complex CHD, is an important contributor to improved survival rates for patients with CHD. Early detection allows for families to choose whether or not to continue with pregnancy, referral to pediatric cardiology specialists for patient education, and delivery planning. Better psychosocial supports are needed for families with CHD.

Keywords: congenital heart disease; fetal echocardiogram; outcomes; prenatal detection; psychological impact.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Echocardiography
  • Female
  • Fetal Heart / diagnostic imaging
  • Heart Defects, Congenital* / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Pregnancy
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Ultrasonography, Prenatal*