Severity of congenital heart defects associated with assisted reproductive technologies

Congenital heart defects and ART

Assisted reproductive technology (ART) has been associated with a higher incidence of congenital anomalies, including a specific increase in the rate of congenital heart defects (CHD). In this study, the rate of CHD in pregnancies resulting from ART at a single high-risk pregnancy referral center are compared to the published literature.
Pregnancies were screened by fetal echocardiography for the indication of ART over a 2-year period. CHD were classified as either mild or severe based on the need for postnatal surgical intervention. Results were compared to findings from a literature review of studies examining CHD in pregnancies resulting from ART since 1980.
The greatest increase in risk appears to be for mild CHD (non surgical), which may inform counseling of patients prior to use of assisted reproductive technologies.