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Assessment of Left Ventricular Pre-Ejection Period in the Fetus Using Simultaneous Magnetocardiography and EchocardiographyMensah-Brown N.A.a · Wakai R.T.a · Cheulkar B.b · Srinivasan S.c · Strasburger J.F.b
aDepartment of Medical Physics, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisc., bDepartment of Pediatrics, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisc., and cDepartment of Pediatrics, American Family Children’s Hospital, UW, Madison, Wisc., USA Corresponding Author
Janette F. Strasburger, MD
Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin – Fox Valley
2nd Floor Pavilion, 130 Second St., Neenah, WI 54956 (USA)
Tel. +1 920 969 5301, Fax +1 920 969 7909
Introduction: Fetal magnetocardiography (fMCG) is a promising new technique for assessing fetal rhythm; however, no prior studies have utilized fMCG to evaluate human fetal electromechanical physiology. Pre-ejection period (PEP) is an important measure of the electromechanical activation of the heart, and is altered by disease states and arrhythmias. Materials and Methods: A novel technique was used to assess fetal PEP and its relationship to other fetal systolic time intervals, RR interval, and gestational age (GA). 25 normal human fetuses between 19 and 38 weeks’ gestation were studied using simultaneous pulsed Doppler ultrasound and fMCG. Correlations among PEP, ejection time, QRS width and RR interval were assessed using linear regression. Results: Across all subjects, PEP was found to correlate with GA (R = 0.57, p < 0.0001), QRS width (R = 0.35, p = 0.026), and RR interval (R = 0.37, p = 0.018). In individual sessions, PEP negatively correlated beat-to-beat with the preceding RR interval. Conclusion: PEP exhibits developmental trends that provide a better understanding of the normal development of the human fetal heart.
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