Fetal Left and Right Ventricle Myocardial Performance Index: Defining Normal Values for the Second and Third Trimesters—Single Tertiary Center Experience

Ghawi, Hani; Gendi, Salwa; Mallula, Kiran; Zghouzi, Mohammed; Faza, Nadeen; Awad, Sawsan
December 2013
Pediatric Cardiology;Dec2013, Vol. 34 Issue 8, p1808
Academic Journal
Myocardial performance index (MPI), or Tei index, has become a commonly used parameter for the noninvasive, Doppler-derived assessment of global systolic and diastolic performance of the heart in both adults and children. Normal values have been established in adults and children; however, limited data exist in fetal hearts. The aim of this study was to further elucidate normal values of fetal left (LV) and right ventricle (RV) MPI values in second- and third-trimester fetuses and compare these values with other previously published data. This was a retrospective study to measure MPI in healthy fetuses. After Institutional Review Board approval, 2000 fetal echocardiography studies (FES) were acquired during a period of 4 years. Demographic parameters examined included gestational age (GA), maternal age (MA), and indication for fetal echocardiography. Fetuses with congenital heart disease, arrhythmias, or significant noncardiac fetal anomalies were excluded. The following echocardiography parameters were collected: LV ejection time (LVET), mitral valve close-to-open time (MVCO), RVET, tricuspid valve CO (TVCO), and fetal heart rate. For simplicity, LV and RV MPI values were calculated as follows: LV MPI = MVCO − LVET/LVET and RV MPI = TVCO − RVET/RVET. Four hundred twenty FES met the study criteria. LV MPI was evaluated in 230 and 190 FES in the second and third trimester, respectively. Of the 420 FES, 250 (150 in the second trimester and 100 in the third trimester) had all of the measurements required for RV MPI calculation. MA ranged between 16 and 49 years. Indications for FES included diabetes mellitus ( N = 140; 33 %), suspected fetal anomalies on routine obstetrical ultrasound ( N = 80; 20 %), autoimmune disorder ( N = 60; 14 %), family history of CHD ( N = 76; 18 %), medication exposure ( N = 22; 5 %), increase nuchal thickness ( N = 13; 3 %), and other indications ( N = 29; 6 %). Averaged LV and RV MPI values were 0.464 ± 0.08 and 0.466 ± 0.09, respectively. Further analysis based on gestational period showed slightly greater LV and RV MPI values during the third compared with the second trimester, i.e., 0.48 and 0.49, respectively, with no statistically significant difference. There was no significant association of LV and RV MPI with heart rate. To our knowledge, this is the first study to establish normal values of fetal MPI based on a large fetal population from a single tertiary center. LV and RV MPI values were independent of GA and fetal heart rate. MPI is a useful parameter for the assessment of global cardiac function in the fetus and demonstrates good reproducibility with narrow interobserver and intraobserver variability. Its usefulness should be studied in fetal hearts with complex congenital anomalies.


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