This will become increasingly more important as we identify newer and more effective therapeutic strategies. In the evolution of foetal AVB, the foetal heart is able to maintain
the equivalent of a normal biventricular output by increasing its stroke volume. Foetal cardiomegaly, as evidence of the increased cardiac preload, is always present and ventricular hypertrophy may also be observed. Ventricular systolic function is typically hyperdynamic to accommodate the greater stroke volume DAPT ic50 for every ejection. In the absence of coexistent cardiomyopathy or other cardiac manifestations of NLE, complete AVB both before and after birth is usually well tolerated . There is on-going controversy regarding the prenatal management of this group of pregnancies, particularly with respect to the use of maternal corticosteroid therapy, which is covered in the paper of Jaeggi in this journal . Routine monitoring of the affected pregnancy, however, is practised in most programmes to exclude the evolution of more severe foetal
Caspases apoptosis bradycardia, and other cardiac manifestations of NLE which would increase the risk of evolving hydrops or foetal demise. After delivery, surgical (for young infants) or catheter-based (older children) intervention in the form of pacemaker therapy is usually guided in North America by the American Heart Association/American Phospholipase D1 College of Cardiology recommendations . In the neonate, for instance, an average ventricular rate of <55 bpm, cardiovascular compromise and prolonged QTc are examples of indications for pacemaker therapy. Prenatal diagnosis is associated with earlier need for pacemaker therapy and more frequent pacemaker intervention compared with neonates and older infants and children diagnosed only after birth . By late adolescence, however, most affected children will have undergone pacemaker placement and will require lifelong
pacemaker therapy [14, 15, 38]. Although complete AVB is well tolerated in foetuses and neonates, we and others have shown that 15–20% of affected foetuses develop more diffuse myocardial disease before birth and others may clinically manifest myocardial dysfunction after birth even with adequate pacemaker therapy [14, 39–41]. The echocardiographic appearance of more diffuse disease includes ventricular dilation and systolic dysfunction, myocardial hypertrophy, a non-compaction appearance to the foetal myocardium in some, and, most commonly, echogenicity of the endocardium confirmed in explanted hearts and at autopsy to represent endocardiofibroelastosis or EFE (Fig. 2) [39, 41].