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The impact of fetal echocardiography on the diagnosis and outcomes of vascular ring has not been well examined. We hypothesized that prenatal detection of vascular ring has improved over time and that prenatal diagnosis of vascular ring is associated with earlier intervention and favorable outcomes. This is a single-center, retrospective study of the evolution and outcomes of prenatal diagnosis of vascular ring from 2000 to 2020. We compared clinical presentation, timing of surgical intervention, and outcomes between the prenatally and postnatally diagnosed cases during the same study period. A total of 170 patients were included: 50 with prenatal and 120 with postnatal diagnosis of vascular ring. Prenatal diagnoses included 42 patients (84%) with right aortic arch (RAA), aberrant left subclavian artery (ALSCA), and a left-sided ductus arteriosus and eight (16%) patients with double aortic arch (DAA). The postnatal cohort consisted mainly of 90 patients (75%) with DAA and 22 (18%) with RAA-ALSCA. None of the postnatally diagnosed cases had undergone a fetal echocardiogram. Numbers (percentage) of prenatally diagnosed cases of vascular ring compared with the postnatal cases improved from 4/31 (13%), to 10/29 (34%), to 14/25 (56%), and to 22/35 (69%), respectively, during 2000-2005, 2005-10, 2010-15, and 2015-20 (P = .032). Vascular ring was an isolated abnormality in 84% and 85% of the prenatal and postnatal cohorts, respectively. Compared with the prenatal cohort, postnatally diagnosed patients with an isolated vascular ring were more frequently symptomatic (66% vs 48%, P < .03) and underwent cross-sectional imaging (69% vs 44%, P = .009) and surgery more frequently (79% vs 48%, P = .003). Surgery was performed at a later patient age (18 [2-147] months vs 4.8 [0.5-42] months, P = .01) and was more often associated with residual symptoms (27/81 [33%] vs 1/20 [5%], P = .01) in the postnatal cohort than in the prenatal cohort. The diagnosis of vascular ring by fetal echocardiography has improved over time. A significantly higher incidence of RAA-ALSCA in the prenatal compared with the postnatal cohort suggests that patients with this form of vascular ring often do not present to medical attention with significant symptoms postnatally. Prenatal diagnosis of vascular ring was associated with a lower incidence of symptoms, less frequent use of cross-sectional imaging, earlier age at surgical intervention, and lower likelihood of residual symptoms. Copyright © 2021 American Society of Echocardiography. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Safwat Aly, Koyelle Papneja, Wadi Mawad, Mike Seed, Edgar Jaeggi, Shi-Joon Yoo. Prenatal Diagnosis of Vascular Ring: Evaluation of Fetal Diagnosis and Postnatal Outcomes. Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography : official publication of the American Society of Echocardiography. 2022 Mar;35(3):312-321

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PMID: 34600045

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