Cardiac failure during fetal life is uncommon, even among subjects with cardiovascular malformations. The occurrence of fetal cardiac failure appears to depend upon the presence of some condition which places a burden upon the right ventricle. Classically, premature closure of the foramen ovale is such a condition. In the three cases of fetal cardiac failure reported the malformations represented were (1) right ventricular endocardial fibroelastosis, (2) Ebstein's malformation of the tricuspid valve, and (3) left ventricular endocardial fibroelastosis and mitral insufficiency.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Thb study was supported by Research Grant HE-5694 and Training Grant 5 T1 HE 5570 of the National Institutes of Health, United States Public Health Service.