Journal of the Bahrain Medical Society

Year 2018, Volume 30, Issue 2, Pages 25-30

Original Article

Impact of Fetal Diagnosis on Neonates with Congenital Heart Defects in the Kingdom of Bahrain

Neale Nicola Kalis1*, Manal Al Taraif2

Author Affiliation

1Mohammed bin Khalifa bin Salman Al-Khalifa Cardiac Center (MKCC), Bahrain Defense Force Hospital, Kingdom of Bahrain.
2Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin, Ireland.

*Corresponding author:
Neale Nicola Kalis, Mohammed bin Khalifa bin Salman Al-Khalifa Cardiac Center (MKCC) Bahrain Defense Force Hospital and RCSI (Bahrain), P. O. Box 28743, Kingdom of Bahrain; Tel: (+973)-17766959/(+973)-39048910, Fax: (+973)-17651112, Email:


Received date: April 08, 2018; Accepted date: August 06, 2018; Published date: September 21, 2018


Background and objectives: Fetal echocardiography is used for prenatal diagnosis of congenital cardiac malformations. The impact on the neonatal outcomes in the Middle East remains unknown; therefore, the study aimed to determine the impact of fetal echocardiography on short- and intermediateterm postnatal outcomes.

Methods: This is a retrospective case-control study, including 35 infants with a prenatal diagnosis of congenital heart defects (CHD). The cases were matched to 35 controls diagnosed postnatally with the same CHD. Demographic, clinical, and procedural variables were collected on a pretested form and compared. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS 25.0. Contingency tables were created, and the grouped data were compared using the Fisher’s exact test.

Results: Mean age at diagnosis in the prenatal and postnatal diagnosed group was 1 day and 12.58 days, respectively (P = 0.001). In the prenatal group, 23 (65.71%) deliveries were performed in a tertiary healthcare setup compared to 13 (37.14%) in the postnatal group (P = 0.03). Duct-dependent CHD requiring prostaglandins was observed in 13 (41.94%) neonates in the prenatal group compared to 9 (28.13%) in the postnatal group (P = 0.3). There were 11 (31.43%) deaths in the prenatal group compared to 7 (20.00%) in the postnatal group (P = 0.4). There were no statistically significant differences among the procedural variables.

Conclusion: Fetal echocardiography aided in identifying neonates with complex CHD resulting in better parental counseling and delivery at a tertiary care center. However, this did not result in significantly short- and intermediate-term outcomes. Due to the small sample size, future follow-up studies are encouraged.

Keywords: Critical congenital heart defects; fetal echocardiography