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July 6, 1984

Cardiac Problems in PregnancyII. Fetal Aspects: Advances in Intrauterine Diagnosis and Therapy

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Mount Sinai Hospital Medical Center and Rush Medical College, Chicago (Dr Gleicher); and the Department of Medicine, Section of Cardiology, Los Angeles County USC Medical Center, University of Southern California, Los Angeles (Dr Elkayam).

JAMA. 1984;252(1):78-80. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350010044021

UNTIL very recently fetal cardiology was restricted to the study of the embryology of the fetal heart with the primary emphasis on the understanding of the development of structural congenital cardiac abnormalities. Cardiology, and in this sense pediatric cardiology, started with the birth process and was again primarily directed toward recognition, diagnosis, and therapy of neonatally recognized structural congenital heart problems. During the last decade, the fetal heart has attracted increasing interest both on the part of the obstetrician-perinatologist and the pediatric cardiologist. Research into the developing heart has concentrated on embryology but has covered such important areas as the biophysics of the developing heart, the autonomic control of fetal cardiac activity, as well as genetic, infectious, metabolic, and environmental causes for congenital heart abnormalities. The advances and the understanding of basic physiology of the fetal heart as well as the development of newer diagnostic means have, in turn, improved