What is fetal arrhythmia?

Fetal arrhythmia is an abnormality of the fetal heart rate. Most fetal arrhythmias are due to irregular beats. Arrhythmias can involve a fast or slow heart rate. Arrhythmias are rare pregnancy complications, with the large majority of cases being benign.

How is this condition managed during pregnancy?

Fetal echocardiography and prenatal consultation with a pediatric cardiologist are recommended in the evaluation of fetal arrhythmias. Serial echocardiography may be recommended to monitor this condition. In more severe cases, prenatal care will be managed by a maternal-fetal medicine specialist, an obstetrician with special training and expertise in high-risk pregnancies.

How is this condition managed after delivery?

Newborns will be evaluated and cared for by a team involving pediatric cardiology and neonatology specialists. Outcomes vary widely based upon the underlying arrhythmia and are influenced by the presence of other abnormalities or genetic syndromes.