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Table of Contents
Vol. 23, No. 3, 2008
Issue release date: February 2008
Fetal Diagn Ther 2008;23:237–244
(DOI:10.1159/000116748)

Fetal Cardiocentesis: A Review of Indications, Risks, Applications and Technique

Sarno, Jr. A.P. · Wilson R.D.
aMaternal-Fetal Medicine Section, Perinatal Center, St. Luke’s Hospital and Health Network, Bethlehem, Pa., and bCenter for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., USA

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Abstract

Objectives: To review the indications, applications and technique of fetal cardiocentesis. Methods: Review of published case reports and case series of fetal cardiocentesis utilizing the PubMed search engine of the National Library of Medicine. Results: Case reports and case series demonstrate that fetal cardiocentesis may be an alternative method by which to facilitate prenatal diagnosis, intravascular therapy, multifetal and selective fetal reduction and in utero therapy of congenital heart disease. However, procedure-associated risk is higher than with cordocentesis and may limit use of this procedure. Conclusions: Fetal cardiocentesis may be a reasonable option to obtain fetal intravascular access and facilitate therapeutic interventions when cordocentesis fails or is not feasible. However, expected benefit must clearly outweigh the procedure-associated risk.



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