Background: There are few large studies of fetal congenital bradyarrhythmia. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects and risks of transplacental treatment for this condition. Methods and Results: Using questionnaires, 128 cases of fetal bradyarrhythmia were identified at 52 Japanese institutions from 2002 to 2008. Of the 128 fetuses, 90 had structurally normal hearts. Among these 90 fetuses, 61 had complete atrioventricular block (CAVB), 16 had second-degree AVB, 8 had sinus bradycardia, and 5 had other conditions. The 61 CAVB fetuses were divided into those who did (n=38) and those who did not (n=23) receive transplacental medication. Monotherapy with β-sympathomimetics, steroid monotherapy, and combination therapy with these agents was given in 11, 5 and 22 cases, respectively. Beta-sympathomimetics improved bradycardia (P<0.001), but no medication could significantly improve the survival rate. Fetal hydrops was associated with a 14-fold increased risk of perinatal death (P=0.001), and myocardial dysfunction was a significant risk factor for poor prognosis (P=0.034). Many adverse effects were observed with steroid treatment, with fetal growth restriction increasing significantly after >10 weeks on steroids (P=0.043). Conclusions: Treatment with β-sympathomimetics improved bradycardia, but survival rate did not differ significantly in fetuses with and without transplacental medication. It is recommended that steroid use should be limited to <10 weeks to avoid maternal and fetal adverse effects, especially fetal growth restriction and oligohydramnios.
- Anti-ro/ssa antibody
- Congenital atrioventricular block
- Transplacental treatment
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine