Preterm Birth of Infants Prenatally Diagnosed with Congenital Heart Disease, Characteristics, Associations, and Outcomes


Mustafa HJ, Cross SN, Jacobs KM, Tessier KM, Tofte AN, McCarter AR, Narasimhan SL.
Pediatr Cardiol. 2020 Apr 30. doi: 10.1007/s00246-020-02345-8. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 32356015
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There are limited data on the relation between congenital heart disease (CHD) and preterm birth (PTB). We aimed to estimate the risk of PTB in newborns with CHD, to study associations and risk factors (modifiable and non-modifiable) as well as investigate postnatal outcomes. This was a retrospective cohort study of 336 pregnancies diagnosed with CHD between 2011 and 2016. Groups consisted of those delivered at or after 37 weeks, and those who delivered prior to 37 weeks. Collected data included maternal and fetal characteristics as well postnatal outcomes. Complete data were obtained from 237 singleton pregnancies. The overall proportion of PTB was 23.2% for all CHD, of which 38.2% were spontaneous PTB which was almost unchanged after excluding extracardiac anomalies and pathogenic chromosomal abnormalities. Significant non-modifiable risk factors were pregnancy-related HTN disorders (P < 0.001), fetal growth restriction (P = 0.01), and pathogenic chromosomal abnormalities (P = 0.046). Significant PTB modifiable risk factors included prenatal marijuana use (P = 0.01). Pregnancies delivered at 37-38 weeks had significantly more newborns with birthweight < 2500 g (P < 0.001), required more pre-operative NICU support including intubation (P = 0.049), vasopressors (P = 0.04), prostaglandins (P = 0.003), antibiotics (P = 0.01), and had longer hospital stay (P = 0.001) than those delivered at ≥ 39 weeks. Prenatally diagnosed pregnancies with CHD had higher PTB rate compared to the general population, with spontaneous PTB comprising 38.2% of these preterm deliveries. Most PTB risk factors were non-modifiable, however, significant modifiable factors included marijuana use in pregnancy. Outcomes were favorable in neonates delivered at or beyond 39 weeks.