Evaluation of Intracranial Structures of Fetuses With Congenital Heart Defects

J Ultrasound Med. 2023 Feb;42(2):419-425. doi: 10.1002/jum.16049. Epub 2022 Jul 10.


Objectives: We classified congenital heart defects (CHDs) according to cerebral blood flow oxygenation and aimed to evaluate the effect on the size of brain structures in these fetuses.

Methods: The study which was designed retrospectively, included 28 patients with fetal CHDs and 76 patients without fetal anomalies.

Results: The width and length of the cavum septum pellucidum significantly increased in the CHD group (P = .002, P = .004). The biparietal diameter and z scores were significantly lower in the single ventricle (SV) (P = .006, P = .019), and the head circumference (HC) and z scores were significantly lower in the transposition of great arteries (TGA) (P = .013, P = .038). The transverse cerebellar diameter, the cerebellar HC and the cerebellar hemisphere area values were lower in the SV (P = .005, P = .017, P = .044).

Conclusions: Brain structure changes are more pronounced in groups with low cerebral oxygenation, especially in the SV and the TGA.

Keywords: brain structures; cerebral blood flow oxygenation; congenital heart defect.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Fetus
  • Head / diagnostic imaging
  • Heart Defects, Congenital* / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Transposition of Great Vessels*
  • Ultrasonography, Prenatal