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.
© 2010 S. Karger AG, Basel
- Pre-ejection period
- Fetal magnetocardiography
- Fetal echocardiography
- Electromechanical coupling
- Systolic time intervals
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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
Received: May 4, 2010
Accepted after revision: June 29, 2010
Published online: October 26, 2010
Number of Print Pages : 8
Number of Figures : 6, Number of Tables : 1, Number of References : 21
Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy (Clinical Advances and Basic Research)
Vol. 28, No. 3, Year 2010 (Cover Date: October 2010)
Journal Editor: Gratacós E. (Barcelona)
ISSN: 1015-3837 (Print), eISSN: 1421-9964 (Online)
For additional information: http://www.karger.com/FDT
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