A new analysis of published studies found a 45% increased risk of congenital heart defects in newborns when women become pregnant via in vitro fertilization (IVF)/intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) than through spontaneous conception.
The Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology analysis included eight studies with 25,856 children obtained from IVF techniques and 287,995 children spontaneously conceived and a total of 2,289 congenital heart defects.
Congenital heart defects were found in 1.30% and 0.68% in the IVF/ICSI and spontaneous conception groups, respectively.
“We believe that IVF/ICSI pregnancies present an increased risk of CHDs as a consequence of early placental dysfunction; however this hypothesis should be demonstrated in future studies. We recommend fetal echocardiography in all pregnancies from IVF/ICSI,” said lead author Dr. Paolo Cavoretto, of the IRCCS San Raffaele Hospital, in Milan, Italy.