Fetal Cardiac Function
Providing a detailed overview on techniques and their potential applications
Fetal echocardiography was initially used to detect structural anomalies, but has more recently also been proposed to assess fetal cardiac function. Functional echocardiography has been demonstrated to select high-risk populations and has been seen to have an effect on the outcome of several fetal conditions. Because of the small size and high heart rate and the restricted access away from the transducer, cardiovascular parameters should be validated but used with caution in the fetus.
This special issue on fetal cardiac function is a collection of review and original articles showing several potential clinical and research applications of functional echocardiography in intrauterine growth restriction, twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, congenital heart disease and aneuploides. The insights provided show that fetal cardiac function assessment is a promising tool that may soon be incorporated into clinical practice to diagnose, monitor or predict outcome in some fetal conditions. Therefore, this special issue on ‘fetal cardiac function’ provides valuable reading for clinicians and researchers in fetal medicine and cardiology who are interested in the fetal heart.