Right ventricular dysfunction in children and adolescents conceived by assisted reproductive technologies.

Von Arx, Robert; Allemann, Yves; Sartori, Claudio; Rexhaj, Emrush; Cerny, David; De Marchi, Stefano; Soria, Rodrigo; Germond, Marc; Scherrer, Urs; Rimoldi, Stefano (2015). Right ventricular dysfunction in children and adolescents conceived by assisted reproductive technologies. Journal of applied physiology, 118(10), pp. 1200-1206. American Physiological Society 10.1152/japplphysiol.00533.2014

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Assisted reproductive technologies (ART) predispose the offspring to vascular dysfunction, arterial hypertension, and hypoxic pulmonary hypertension. Recently, cardiac remodeling and dysfunction during fetal and early postnatal life have been reported in offspring of ART, but it is not known whether these cardiac alterations persist later in life and whether confounding factors contribute to this problem. We, therefore, assessed cardiac function and pulmonary artery pressure by echocardiography in 54 healthy children conceived by ART (mean age 11.5 ± 2.4 yr) and 54 age-matched (12.2 ± 2.3 yr) and sex-matched control children. Because ART is often associated with low birth weight and prematurity, two potential confounders associated with cardiac dysfunction, only singletons born with normal birth weight at term were studied. Moreover, because cardiac remodeling in infants conceived by ART was observed in utero, a situation associated with increased right heart load, we also assessed cardiac function during high-altitude exposure, a condition associated with hypoxic pulmonary hypertension-induced right ventricular overload. We found that, while at low altitude cardiac morphometry and function was not different between children conceived by ART and control children, under the stressful conditions of high-altitude-induced pressure overload and hypoxia, larger right ventricular end-diastolic area and diastolic dysfunction (evidenced by lower E-wave tissue Doppler velocity and A-wave tissue Doppler velocity of the lateral tricuspid annulus) were detectable in children and adolescents conceived by ART. In conclusion, right ventricular dysfunction persists in children and adolescents conceived by ART. These cardiac alterations appear to be related to ART per se rather than to low birth weight or prematurity.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Cardiovascular Disorders (DHGE) > Clinic of Cardiology

Graduate School:

Graduate School for Health Sciences (GHS)

UniBE Contributor:

Von Arx, Robert, Allemann, Yves, Rexhaj, Emrush, Cerny, David, De Marchi, Stefano, Soria Maldonado, Rodrigo, Scherrer, Urs, Rimoldi, Stefano


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology




American Physiological Society




Stefano Rimoldi

Date Deposited:

11 May 2016 10:22

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:52

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

assisted reproductive technologies, cardiac function, fetal programming, in vitro fertilization





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