Fetal Doppler echocardiographic diagnosis and successful steroid therapy of Luciani-Wenckebach phenomenon and endocardial fibroelastosis related to maternal anti-Ro and anti-La antibodies
Marie-JosÃ©e Raboisson, MD a 1 – Jean-Claude Fouron, MD a – Sven-Erik Sonesson, MD b –
Margareta Nyman, MD c – Francine Proulx, RT a – Sylvie Gamache, RT a
Complete fetal heart block (HB) and endocardial fibroelastosis (EFE) are known to be associated with maternal anti-Ro and anti-La antibodies. Complete fetal HB is irreversible.
We sought to (1) assess the value of the superior vena cava/ascending aorta Doppler approach in the early detection of abnormal delay in the fetal atrioventricular (AV) time of conduction, before appearance of complete fetal HB; and (2) report the effect of prenatal steroid therapy on EFE, HB, or both.
The clinical history, echocardiographic, and Doppler investigations of 3 fetuses and children born to mothers positive for anti-Ro and anti-La antibodies are reported. Two fetuses presented with EFE either isolated (29 weeks) or associated with AV block (25 weeks). In this last case, the superior vena cava/ascending aorta approach allowed the identification of a Luciani-Wenckebach phenomenon. In a third fetus, 2:1 AV block was noted at 23 weeks of gestation. Dexamethasone (4 mg/day) was administered to all 3 patients. Complete regression of the EFE and conduction abnormalities was documented in all cases.
Early prenatal detection of abnormal delay in fetal AV time conduction is possible with the Doppler superior vena cava/ascending aorta approach. Steroid therapy can cure fetal EFE and AV conduction delays associated with maternal anti-Ro and anti-La antibodies.
Publishing and Reprint Information
c- Department of Obstetrics, Danderyd Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org (Jean-Claude Fouron)