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Fetal cardiac screening; why bother?
  1. Gurleen Sharland (gurleen.sharland{at}
  1. Evelina Children's Hospital, London, United Kingdom


    Cardiac abnormalities are the commonest form of congenital malformation, with moderate and severe forms affecting about 0.6% of live births1. Although congenital heart disease remains an important cause of death in infancy, not all forms of major congenital heart disease will be evident at birth or in the early neonatal period 2,3. Reports indicate that approximately 25% of babies with severe forms of congenital heart disease are still discharged from hospital undiagnosed and in some cases the cardiac lesion is not recognised during life 2,4,. Early diagnosis of such babies would improve survival, as well as reducing the morbidity associated with circulatory collapse prior to recognition of a problem and administration of appropriate treatment.

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      BMJ Publishing Group Ltd and Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health