Fetal premature atrial contractions (FPAC's) are a type of extrasystoles that can be occasionally detected in fetal heart monitoring. They along with fetal premature ventricular contractions (PVC's) account for the majority of in utero rhythm disturbances 3.
They may arise from immaturity in the fetal cardiac conduction system 2. The conductions arise in atrium and can be either transmitted to the ventricles or blocked.
- in ~1-2% of cases, they can be associated with a congenital cardiac anomaly
They are benign and usually self-limiting and do not generally compromise cardiac function. In most cases they disappear spontaneously in utero.
- 1. Entezami M, Albig M, Knoll U et-al. Ultrasound Diagnosis of Fetal Anomalies. Thieme. (2003) ISBN:1588902129. Read it at Google Books - Find it at Amazon
- 2. Pilu G, Nicolaides KH. Diagnosis of fetal abnormalities, the 18-23-week scan. Informa HealthCare. (1999) ISBN:1850704929. Read it at Google Books - Find it at Amazon
- 3. Calvin SE, Gaziano EP, Bendel RP et-al. Evaluation of fetal cardiac arrhythmias. Ultrasound findings and neonatal outcome. Minn Med. 1992;75 (12): 29-31. - Pubmed citation