High Output Cardiovascular Physiology and Outcomes in Fetal Diagnosis of Vein of Galen Malformation

Simone Jhaveri, Alejandro Berenstein, Shubhika Srivastava, Tomoyoshi Shigematsu, Miwa K. Geiger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Vein of Galen aneurysmal malformation (VGAM) is a rare anomaly associated with poor outcomes from high output cardiac failure and neurologic complications. Studies addressing fetal cardiovascular status and outcomes in this population are limited. A single-center retrospective review was conducted on patients with a prenatal diagnosis of VGAM who underwent a fetal echocardiogram between January 2015 and July 2019. Fetal echocardiographic data, brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings and outcomes were collected. Nine fetuses [median gestational age at echocardiogram 34 (1.1) weeks] were included. All patients had superior vena cava dilation and reversal of diastolic flow in the transverse aortic arch. Median cardiothoracic (CT) ratio was 0.39 (0.09). Right ventricular (RV) and left ventricular (LV) dysfunction was present in 66% and 11% fetuses, respectively. Four out of five patients that underwent postnatal endovascular neurosurgical interventions at our center were alive at follow-up (mean 2.7 years). Of the non-survivors (n = 5), 3 received comfort care because of severe brain damage and died in the neonatal period. Non-survivors more commonly had > mild tricuspid regurgitation (TR) (40% vs. 25%) and > mild RV dilation (60% vs. 25%). Combined cardiac index (CCI) was higher in non-survivors when compared to survivors (672.7 vs. 530.2 ml/kg/min, p = 0.016). Fetuses with significant parenchymal damage on brain MRI tended to have a higher CCI than those without (979.8 vs. 605.0 ml/kg/min, p = 0.047). RV dysfunction, TR and elevated CCI are more commonly seen in non-survivors with VGAM. A higher CCI is seen in those deemed untreatable due to significant parenchymal volume loss. Future multicenter studies are needed to assess for prenatal prediction of outcomes in this high-risk population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1416-1424
Number of pages9
JournalPediatric Cardiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 2021


  • Cerebral arteriovenous malformations
  • Fetal cardiac output
  • Fetal echocardiography
  • Outcomes
  • Vein of Galen aneurysmal malformation


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