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Minerva Obstetrics and Gynecology 2021 Apr 27

DOI: 10.23736/S2724-606X.21.04787-0


language: English

Cardiac function in fetal growth restriction: a review

Ilenia MAPPA 1, Pavjola MAQINA 1, Victoria BITSADZE 1, 2, Jamilya KHIZROEVA 1, 2, Alexander MAKATSARYA 2, Domenico ARDUINI 3, Giuseppe RIZZO 1, 2

1 Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine, Ospedale Cristo Re, Tor Vergata University of Rome, Rome, Italy; 2 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The First I.M. Sechenov Moscow State Medical University, Moscow, Russia; 3 Department of Developmental Medicine and Prevention, Tor Vergata University of Rome, Rome, Italy


Fetal growth restriction (FGR) is defined as the inability of the fetus to reach its growth potential. According to the onset of the disease is defined early (< 32 weeks) or late (≥ 32 weeks). FGR is associated with an increased risk of adverse short- and long-term outcomes, including hypoxemic events and neurodevelopmental delay compared to normally grown fetuses and increased risk of complications in the infanthood and adulthood. The underlying cause of FGR is placental insufficiency leading to chronic fetal hypoxia that affects cardiac hemodynamic with different mechanism in early and late onset growth restriction. In early onset FGR adaptive mechanisms involve the diversion of the cardiac output preferentially in favour of the brain and the heart, while abnormal arterial and venous flow manifest in the case of further worsening of fetal hypoxia. In late FGR the fetal heart shows a remodelling of its shape and function mainly related to a reduction of umbilical vein flow. In this review we discuss the modifications occurring at the level of the fetal cardiac hemodynamic in fetuses with early and late FGR.

KEY WORDS: Fetal growth restriction; Early onset late onset; Cardiac hemodynamic; Cardiac remodelling; Cardiac Doppler; Fetal venous flow

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