Preterm Birth of Infants Prenatally Diagnosed with Congenital Heart Disease, Characteristics, Associations, and Outcomes

Hiba J. Mustafa, Sarah N. Cross, Katherine M. Jacobs, Katelyn M. Tessier, Alena N. Tofte, Allison R. McCarter, Shanti L. Narasimhan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There are limited data on the relation between congenital heart disease (CHD) and preterm birth (PTB). We aimed to estimate the risk of PTB in newborns with CHD, to study associations and risk factors (modifiable and non-modifiable) as well as investigate postnatal outcomes. This was a retrospective cohort study of 336 pregnancies diagnosed with CHD between 2011 and 2016. Groups consisted of those delivered at or after 37 weeks, and those who delivered prior to 37 weeks. Collected data included maternal and fetal characteristics as well postnatal outcomes. Complete data were obtained from 237 singleton pregnancies. The overall proportion of PTB was 23.2% for all CHD, of which 38.2% were spontaneous PTB which was almost unchanged after excluding extracardiac anomalies and pathogenic chromosomal abnormalities. Significant non-modifiable risk factors were pregnancy-related HTN disorders (P < 0.001), fetal growth restriction (P = 0.01), and pathogenic chromosomal abnormalities (P = 0.046). Significant PTB modifiable risk factors included prenatal marijuana use (P = 0.01). Pregnancies delivered at 37–38 weeks had significantly more newborns with birthweight < 2500 g (P < 0.001), required more pre-operative NICU support including intubation (P = 0.049), vasopressors (P = 0.04), prostaglandins (P = 0.003), antibiotics (P = 0.01), and had longer hospital stay (P = 0.001) than those delivered at ≥ 39 weeks. Prenatally diagnosed pregnancies with CHD had higher PTB rate compared to the general population, with spontaneous PTB comprising 38.2% of these preterm deliveries. Most PTB risk factors were non-modifiable, however, significant modifiable factors included marijuana use in pregnancy. Outcomes were favorable in neonates delivered at or beyond 39 weeks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)972-978
Number of pages7
JournalPediatric Cardiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Research reported in this publication was supported by NIH Grant P30 CA77598 utilizing the Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Core shared resource of the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota and by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health Award Number UL1TR002494. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.


  • Congenital heart defect
  • Gestational age
  • Pregnancy
  • Preterm birth

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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