Characteristics, associations and outcome of absent pulmonary valve syndrome in the fetus

P. Volpe, D. Paladini, M. Marasini, A. L. Buonadonna, M. G. Russo, G. Caruso, A. Marzullo, P. Arciprete, P. Martinelli, M. Gentile

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: To assess in a population of 21 fetuses diagnosed with absent pulmonary valve syndrome (APVS) the accuracy of prenatal diagnosis, the incidence of extracardiac and chromosomal anomalies and the perinatal outcome. Methods: This was a retrospective observational study of 21 fetuses with a confirmed diagnosis of APVS. All of them underwent fetal echocardiography and a detailed anatomical scan. Karyotyping was performed in 20/21 cases, with fluorescent in-situ hybridization analysis to detect the 22q11 micro deletion performed in 16/21 cases. The following variables were retrieved from databases and evaluated: indication for referral, gestational age at diagnosis, presence of cardiomegaly, branch pulmonary dilatation, associated anomalies or intrauterine growth restriction, and fetal/neonatal outcome. Autopsy reports and postnatal surgical/medical files were available for confirmation in all cases. Results: Prenatal diagnosis of APVS proved correct in all cases, with only three cases occurring not in association with tetralogy of Fallot. Additional cardiovascular anomalies were present in five cases (24%). Extracardiac anomalies were found in nine cases (42.8%), and were associated with chromosomal anomalies in five cases (24%). The 22q11 microdeletion was present in 4/16 cases (25%). Fetal/neonatal outcome was as follows: nine terminations of pregnancy, three intrauterine deaths, six postnatal deaths. The remaining three (14.3%) neonates were alive after surgery. Cardiomegaly and marked branch pulmonary dilatation were present in 16 and 15 cases, respectively, and were associated with bronchomalacia in virtually all cases. Conclusions: APVS can be reliably diagnosed and characterized prenatally. The association with major chromosomal anomalies or 22q11 microdeletion is consistent with previous findings. The relatively poor survival rate is due to the high rate of terminations, associated genetic anomalies and bronchomalacia. Bronchomalacia is present in the overwhelming majority of cases featuring cardiomegaly and marked branch pulmonary dilatation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)623-628
Number of pages6
JournalUltrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2004


  • 22q11 microdeletion
  • Absent pulmonary valve syndrome
  • Fetal/neonatal outcome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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