Other Names for this Disease
- Isolated levocardia with situs inversus
- Situs inversus with levocardia
Your QuestionI am pregnant and my baby has been diagnosed with isolated levocardia with situs inversus. She does not appear to have a heart defect. I've found little information and no support groups for this specific condition. I was given a very grim statistic for her chance of long-term survival. Is this true? Has there been other cases of prenatally diagnosed isolated levocardia with situs inversus? Was MRI or other tests helpful in planning the infants care?
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Questions on this page
- What is isolated levocardia?
- Are there any support resources for isolated levocardia?
- What is the long-term outlook of infants prenatally diagnosed with isolated levocardia?
- Have there been other cases of prenatally diagnosed isolated levocardia?
- Has MRI or other tests been helpful in planning the care of infants prenatally diagnosed with isolated levocardia?
Isolated levocardia is a type of situs inversus where the heart is located in the normal position, but there is a mirror-image reversal of other internal organs. Isolated levocardia may occur alone or with heart defects, heart rhythm abnormalities (sick sinus syndrome or atrioventricular node disorder), spleen defects (absent, underdeveloped, or extra spleen), and intestinal malrotation. Long term outlook varies depending on the presence/absence of associated abnormalities, particularly heart defects. The cause of isolated levocardia is not known. It is not usually associated with chromosome abnormalities.
The overall outlook for infants born with isolated levocardia will vary depending largely on the absence/presence of heart defects. You can find grim estimates for long term survival in dated literature (published in the 1960’s and 70’s). These statistics do not account for mild cases of isolated levocardia diagnosed as a result of improved technologies and detection.
In addition, a careful assessment of the spleen in the newborn is important. People with spleen dysfunction are at an increased risk for serious infection and benefit from prophylactic life-long antibiotics and vaccination. Barium contrast screening has been used for early detection of intestinal malrotation and to guide treatment. Also, long-term, infrequent follow-up of infants and adults with isoalted levocardia to monitor for heart rhythm problems is recommended.
- Ghawi H1, Zghouzi MM, Emahbes TM, Awad SM. Prenatal diagnosis of isolated levocardia and a structurally normal heart: two case reports and a review of the literature. Pediatr Cardiol. 2013 Apr; 34(4):1034-7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Ghawi%5Bau%5D+levocardia. Accessed 3/10/2014.
- Gindes L, Hegesh J, Barkai G, Jacobson JM, Achiron R. Isolated levocardia: prenatal diagnosis, clinical importance, and literature review. J Ultrasound Med. 2007 Mar; 26(3):361-5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17324986. Accessed 3/10/2014.