Incidence of congenital heart disease: II. Prenatal incidence

Pediatr Cardiol. 1995 Jul-Aug;16(4):155-65. doi: 10.1007/BF00794186.


The incidence of congenital heart disease appears to be about 1 per 100 liveborn infants. In infants who die before term, however, there is a much higher incidence of congenital heart disease, with a tendency for an excess of complex lesions. Some but not all of these lesions are associated with gross chromosomal abnormalities, which occur frequently in first-trimester abortions. Most of these chromosomal abnormalities are associated with such maldevelopment of many organ systems that fetal death occurs in utero. Monosomy X (45, XO), has a high association with congenital heart disease. Most fetuses with this abnormality die in utero, but because the abnormality is not inevitably lethal a small increase in survival of these fetuses would cause a large increase in the total incidence of congenital heart disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Spontaneous / epidemiology
  • Abortion, Spontaneous / genetics
  • Female
  • Fetal Death / epidemiology*
  • Fetal Death / genetics
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / epidemiology*
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / genetics
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant Mortality
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Sex Chromosome Aberrations / epidemiology*
  • Sex Chromosome Aberrations / genetics
  • X Chromosome