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Pregnant women at risk can use Doppler fetal monitors at home
A new study shows that pregnant women at risk can use commercial Doppler fetal monitors at home to detect arrhythmias in their developing fetuses.
Fetal heart monitors are more effective, more convenient, more capable, and cheaper, and pregnant women can easily access them at home.
Although commercial Doppler has been around for many years, a team led by Dr. Bettina Cuneo, director of the Department of Pediatric Cardiology at the Colorado Fetal Care Center in the hospital and professor of pediatrics and obstetrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, found that they found the problem. It is called complete atrioventricular block (CAVB) in a fetus with a risk of serious rhythm problems.
Approximately 3% of pregnant women carry an antibody called an anti-SSA or Sjogren antibody that can be tested by blood tests.
In 4% of anti-SSA positive pregnancies, maternal antibodies cross the placenta at 18 weeks, causing inflammation and fibrosis of the fetal conduction system, leading to CAVB. Once established, CAVB is irreversible, with 31% of affected fetuses dying in the womb or in the first year after birth.
If you fall into the time of the irregular rhythm of the fetal heart from normal rhythm to CAVB in the "emergency" phase, there is an opportunity to treat.
Although pregnant women who tested for anti-SSA positive usually received echocardiography from their provider weekly, emergency CAVB occurred within 24 hours, so echo monitoring was rarely successful.
In this study, Dr. Cuneo and his team recruited participants during the 16-18 weeks of gestation and taught them how to use the Doppler fetal heart rate monitor twice a day. If the rhythm is irregular or no heartbeat is heard, the participant is instructed to contact their provider immediately.
"Approximately 120,000 pregnant women learn to carry anti-SSA antibodies each year, and unfortunately, their CAVB causes their fetal or neonatal death," Dr. Cuneo said.
"Through this international study, we found that pregnant women using simple fetal heart monitors are more effective, more convenient, more capable, and less expensive for mothers. Given the convenience of use and cost of acquisition, we hope that the results of the study International obstetricians will be encouraged to consider using this technology with patients."
In the pilot program, two mothers detected an irregular rhythm of emergency CAVB during home monitoring, and internal echo monitoring produced normal results. In both cases, emergency CAVB develops in less than 24 hours. More than 220 anti-SSA positive mothers have completed the study. Participants agreed that the process eased the stress and stated that they would be monitored again in subsequent pregnancies.
"Learn that I am positive for SSA antibodies, and my unborn son has a very high risk of fetal heart block, but participating in this study makes me feel empowered," Rachel Fedorczuk said. She is a mother and a heart. Participant of the disease. Family learning.
"It’s a blessing to be able to listen to my son’s heartbeat at home every day. It’s a blessing. The home monitor, combined with the care and support system I received from the children’s Colorado, gave me great peace of mind. Participating in the research is An invaluable experience, I am very pleased to know that if my son has a heart disorder during pregnancy, his life can be saved. Every parent should have the same chance."