The aim of the study is to identify reliable quantitative fetal echocardiographic predictors for postnatal development of coarctation (CoA). In this retrospective study, we included 65 fetuses with a prenatally suspected, isolated CoA, born 2010–2018. Dimensions of the cardiac structures, aortic, and ductal arches expressed as ratios and Z-scores were analyzed in relation to outcome. Fetuses that developed CoA postnatally (34%) exhibited significantly smaller Z-scores of left cardiac structures from the mitral valve to the aortic isthmus. The most sensitive and specific predictors were a carotid-subclavian artery index (CSAI) of < 0.78 (92.3% sensitivity, 96.8% specificity) or a product of isthmus-to-duct ratio in the three-vessel trachea view (3VT) and the mitral-to-tricuspid valve ratio (I/D3VTxMV/TV) of < 0.37 (100% sensitivity, 94.6% specificity). When comparing different Z-score datasets, we observed large and highly significant differences. Postnatal CoA can be predicted with high accuracy during fetal life using CSAI or I/D3VTxMV/TV. The latter may be particularly useful if adequate sagittal aortic arch images cannot be obtained. As significant and clinically unacceptable differences in Z-scores were observed for the same measurements, this calls for a large multi-center collaboration to generate reliable fetal echocardiographic Z-scores.
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