Normal fetal cardiac deformation values in pregnancy: a prospective cohort study protocol

Noortje H.M. van Oostrum (Corresponding author), S. Guid Oei, Judith O.E.H. van Laar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: Myocardial deformation imaging offers the potential to measure myocardial function. Remodelling, the change in size, shape and function, appears as a result of pressure or volume changes and is thought to be the first sign of fetal adaptation to placental dysfunction. Deformation can be measured using speckle tracking echocardiography (STE). STE in the fetus might be useful for detection and follow up of the fetus endangered by placental dysfunction. Reference values for fetal myocardial deformation during gestation have not been comprehensively described and need further investigation before STE can be introduced in daily clinical practice. The aim of this study is to determine reference values for fetal myocardial deformation throughout gestation in uncomplicated pregnancies. Methods: A longitudinal cohort will be performed. 150 Women, pregnant from a non-anomalous singleton, will be included from 19 to 21 + 6 weeks gestational age. Thereafter, fetal heart ultrasounds will be performed 4 weekly, until 41 weeks gestational age or delivery. Ultrasound data will be analysed using STE software to determine reference values for fetal cardiac deformation during gestation. Discussion: Measuring cardiac deformation changes in pregnancy can be a promising tool to detect preclinical cardiac adaptation to placental dysfunction. However, previous studies used different ultrasound scans and STE software resulting in incomparable and contradictory results on deformation values. In this prospective study reference values during pregnancy, cardiac deformation values will be assessed with the same ultrasound and software package in 150 uncomplicated pregnancies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number524
Number of pages5
JournalBMC Pregnancy and Childbirth
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 27 Dec 2019


  • Cardiac deformation values
  • Fetus
  • Speckle tracking
  • Strain
  • Strain rate
  • Ultrasound


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