Fetal Cardiac Function and Ventricular Volumes Determined by Three-Dimensional Ultrasound Using STIC and VOCAL Methods in Fetuses from Pre-gestational Diabetic Women

Bravo-Valenzuela NJ, Peixoto AB, Mattar R, Melo Júnior JF, da Silva Pares DB, Araujo Júnior E.Pediatr Cardiol. 2020 May 4. doi: 10.1007/s00246-020-02362-7. Online ahead of print.PMID: 32367304



To assess the fetal cardiac function and ventricular volumes by three-dimensional (3D) ultrasound using spatio-temporal image correlation (STIC) and virtual organ computer-aided analysis (VOCAL) methods in fetuses from pre-gestational diabetic women. This was a prospective and cross-sectional study that evaluated 53 fetuses from pre-gestational diabetic women and 53 fetuses from healthy mothers between 20 and 34 weeks of gestation. Only fetuses with no structural or genetic abnormalities and singleton pregnant women were included in this study. The fetal cardiac volumes were assessed by STIC and VOCAL methods. The ejection fraction, stroke volume, and cardiac output were calculated from these measurements to evaluate fetal cardiac function. The Mann-Whitney U test was performed to compare the two groups. For calculation of intra- and interobserver reproducibility’s, we used concordance correlation coefficients. The mean differences in the right atrial volumes between the diabetic and normal groups ranged from 0.05 mL to 0.1 mL (p = 0.917 and 0.355, respectively). The median of left atrium (LA) volume measurement in pre-gestational diabetic group was significantly lower than healthy mothers (LA: 0.62 vs. 0.68 mL; p < 0.001). The fetal right and left ventricular volumes were similar in both groups. No significant differences in ejection fraction, stroke volume and cardiac output were observed (p value range 0.086-0.815). The majority of fetal atrial/ventricular volumes showed good intra- and interobserver reliabilities. Conversely, the majority cardiac function parameters showed poor intra- and interobserver agreements. STIC and VOCAL methods gave reproducible quantitative results for fetal atrial and ventricular volumes. Significant differences in fetal left atrial volumes were observed between the two groups, which be related to LA atrial dysfunction and /or left ventricle (LV) compliance, reflecting earlier stages of cardiac dysfunction.