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Reproducibility of ultrasonic measurement of fetal cardiac haemodynamics


Dr A. R. Beeby, 10 Lorton Road, Low Fell, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear NE9 6TE.


Summary. Two observers made independent estimates of volume flow across all four heart valves in 27 fetuses using a combination of cross-sectional and Doppler echocardiography. There were considerable discrepancies between observers in volume flow estimation arising from inconsistency both in cross-sectional and in Doppler measurements. One observer also produced a second estimate by making new measurements from the original recordings. There was considerable within-observer variability which was mainly due to errors in cross-sectional measurements. The problems of applying this technique to fetal cardiac haemodynamics are discussed.