Outcome of prenatally diagnosed fetal heterotaxy: systematic review and meta-analysis

D. I.P. Buca, A. Khalil, G. Rizzo, A. Familiari, S. Di Giovanni, M. Liberati, D. Murgano, A. Ricciardulli, Francesco Fanfani, Giovanni Scambia, F. D'Antonio

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9 Citazioni (Scopus)


Objectives: The main aim of this systematic review was to evaluate the prevalence and type of associated anomalies in fetuses with heterotaxy diagnosed prenatally on ultrasound; the perinatal outcome of these fetuses was also studied. Methods: An electronic search of MEDLINE, EMBASE and CINAHL databases was performed. Only studies reporting the prenatal diagnosis of isomerism were included. Outcomes observed included associated cardiac and extracardiac anomalies, fetal arrhythmia, abnormal karyotype, type of surgical repair and perinatal mortality. The analysis was stratified according to the type of heterotaxy syndrome (left (LAI) or right (RAI) atrial isomerism). Meta-analyses of proportions were used to combine data. Quality assessment of the included studies was performed using the Newcastle–Ottawa Scale for cohort studies. Results: Sixteen studies (647 fetuses) were included in the analysis. Atrioventricular septal defect was the most common associated major cardiac anomaly found both in fetuses with LAI (pooled proportion (PP), 59.3% (95% CI, 44.0–73.7%)), with obstructive lesions of the right outflow tract occurring in 35.5% of these cases, and in fetuses with RAI (PP, 72.9% (95% CI, 60.4–83.7%)). Fetal arrhythmias occurred in 36.7% (95% CI, 26.9–47.2%) of cases with LAI and were mainly represented by complete atrioventricular block, while this finding was uncommon in cases with RAI (PP, 1.3% (95% CI, 0.2–3.2%)). Abnormal stomach and liver position were found, respectively, in 59.4% (95% CI, 38.1–79.0%) and 32.5% (95% CI, 11.9–57.6%) of cases with LAI, and in 54.5% (95% CI, 38.5–70.1%) and 45.9% (95% CI, 11.3–83.0%) of cases with RAI, while intestinal malrotation was detected in 14.2% (95% CI, 2.5–33.1%) of LAI and 27.1% (95% CI, 7.9–52.0%) of RAI cases. Hydrops developed in 11.8% (95% CI, 2.9–25.6%) of fetuses diagnosed prenatally with LAI. Biventricular repair was accomplished in 78.2% (95% CI, 64.3–89.4%) of cases with LAI, while univentricular repair or palliation was needed in 17.0% (95% CI, 9.7–25.9%); death during or after surgery occurred in 26.8% (95% CI, 4.6–58.7%) of LAI cases. Most children with RAI had univentricular repair and 27.8% (95% CI, 15.5–42.1%) died during or after surgery. Conclusions: Fetal heterotaxy is associated with a high prevalence of cardiac and extracardiac anomalies. Approximately one quarter of fetuses with heterotaxy died during or after surgery. Abnormal heart rhythm, especially heart block, is common in fetuses with LAI, while this finding is uncommon in RAI. Biventricular repair was common in LAI while univentricular repair was required in the majority of children affected by RAI. Copyright © 2017 ISUOG. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)323-330
Numero di pagine8
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2018


  • Female
  • Heart Septal Defects, Ventricular
  • Heterotaxy Syndrome
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Perinatal Death
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Diagnosis
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ultrasonography, Prenatal
  • Vascular Surgical Procedures
  • atrial isomerism
  • cardiac defects
  • cardiosplenic syndromes
  • echocardiography
  • heart block
  • prenatal diagnosis


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