Pulmonary atresia: Infants diagnosed prenatally and postnatally have similar outcomes


Prenatal diagnosis of pulmonary atresia is linked to improved oxygenation, but infants diagnosed with this condition postnatally will do just as well if they are identified and treated early, according to a new study in the May issue of the Archives of Disease in Childhood - Fetal and Neonatal Edition.

Aphrodite Tzifa, MD, of Guy's and St. Thomas' Hospital in London, UK, and colleagues sought to determine whether prenatal diagnosis of pulmonary atresia has any bearing on the clinical presentation and neonatal outcome among 37 newborns who received a prenatal diagnosis of pulmonary atresia and 21 who received their diagnosis after birth.

Infants diagnosed with pulmonary atresia postnatally were more hypoxic at birth than their counterparts diagnosed while in utero. Infants diagnosed postnatally presented on day 1 and prostaglandin E therapy was initiated within a median of 3 hours. As a result of such prompt diagnosis and treatment, postnatal diagnosis was not related to greater neonatal morbidity and mortality.

Tzifa A, Barker C, Tibby SM, et al. Prenatal diagnosis of pulmonary atresia: impact on clinical presentation and early outcome. Arch Dis Child- Fetal and Neonatal Edition. 2007;92:F199-F203.

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