Common arterial trunk in the fetus: Characteristics, associations, and outcome in a multicentre series of 23 cases

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To assess the accuracy of prenatal diagnosis, the incidence of extracardiac and chromosomal anomalies, and the perinatal outcome in a population of fetuses with common arterial trunk (CAT). Design: Observational study of 23 fetuses from three referral centres with a confirmed diagnosis of CAT. All underwent fetal echocardiography, detailed anatomical scanning, and karyotyping. In 19 cases, FISH analysis was done to detect 22q11 microdeletion. The following variables were evaluated: gestational age at diagnosis, anatomical variants of the CAT, presence of extracardiac and chromosomal anomalies, pregnancy, and fetal-neonatal outcome. Necropsy reports and postnatal files were available for confirmation of the prenatal diagnosis in all cases. Results: The prenatal diagnosis proved correct in 23 of 24 cases, the last being pulmonary atresia with ventricular septal defect (PAVSD). A second cardiovascular anomaly was present in eight cases (34.8%); extracardiac anomalies were found in 10 (43.4%). FISH ana ysis showed 22q11 microdeletion in six of 19 cases (31.6%). Outcomes were as follows: eight terminations of pregnancy (34.8%), two intrauterine deaths (8.7%), five postnatal deaths (before or after surgery) (21.7%); the remaining eight neonates (34.8%) are alive and thriving after surgery (six) or awaiting surgery (two). Conclusions: CAT can be reliably diagnosed and characterised in prenatal life, although differentiation from PAVSD may be challenging. The association with chromosomal anomalies is consistent (8.7%), but there is a higher risk of 22q11 microdeletion (31.6%), in agreement with postnatal studies. The relatively poor survival rate (34.8%) reflects the high rate of terminations and the unfavourable cardiac anatomy in some cases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1437-1441
Number of pages5
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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