Genetic Testing and Pregnancy Outcome Analysis of 362 Fetuses with Congenital Heart Disease Identified by Prenatal Ultrasound

Abstract Background: Congenital heart defects (CHD), as the most common congenital anomaly, have been reported to be associated with chromosomal abnormalities. Currently, patients with CHD are routinely offered karyotyping and chromosomal microarray (CMA) testing, but the genotype-phenotype relationship has not yet been fully established. Objective: To determine the type and frequency of chromosomal abnormalities in fetuses with CHD and to analyze pregnancy outcomes of fetuses with heart abnormalities caused by different genetic factors. Methods: A total of 362 cases of CHD were enrolled from 2009 to 2016. Detailed ultrasound and laboratory examinations, including karyotyping and CMA, were performed. Outcome was obtained from discharge summaries. Results: Of the 362 fetuses, 220 were found with an isolated CHD, and 142 had CHD with extracardiac anomaly. Among these 362 fetuses, 140 were identified with a genetic cause, including 111 cases with aneuploidy, 10 cases with abnormality of chromosomal structure by karyotyping and 19 cases with pathogenic or likely pathogenic copy-number variations (CNVs) by CMA. The detection rate is close to 38.7%. Only one (identified as trisomy 18 syndrome) in 140 positive cases resulted in perinatal death, with the others being induced. The remaining 222 cases had negative results for both genetic testing and of these cases, 56 resulted in induced labor, and 77 had natural childbirth or caesarean births. The pregnancy outcome of the remaining 89 cases was uncertain. Conclusions: Karyotyping and CMA are effective and accurate prenatal genetic techniques for identifying fetal chromosomal abnormalities associated with cardiac defects, and this can assist clinical doctors to perform appropriate genetic counselling with regard to the etiology and outcome of CHD.