Fetal Cardiac Intervention (FCI)

Fetal Cardiac Intervention is a procedure that is performed in utero and is reserved for the following three life-threatening Congenital Heart Defects:

  1. Aortic Stenosis with evolving Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS): The goal of in utero aortic valvuloplasty is to dilate the narrowed aortic valve and improve left heart growth and function to prevent progression to HLHS
  2. HLHS with restrictive or intact atrial septum: The goal of the FCI is to create an atrial septal defect and sometimes place a stent in utero to decompress the left atrium and allow the baby to be more stable after birth. There is also potential to improve lung and vascular function before birth, which might improve surgical survival.
  3. Pulmonary atresia with intact ventricular septum with evolving HRHS- The goal of in utero pulmonic valvuloplasty is to dilate the narrowed pulmonary valve and improve right heart growth and function to prevent progression to HRHS

What are the outcomes of Fetal Cardiac Intervention?

The outcomes vary. Some of the children are born with a two ventricle circulation at birth and do not require any cardiac surgery. Others have a “borderline” ventricle and need cardiac surgery, however this borderline ventricle can contribute to their overall cardiac output. Lastly, some of the children despite the Fetal Cardiac Intervention, are required to undergo the traditional single ventricle surgeries.

Every child is different and responds differently to this procedure. This video will help explain it better.