Medical In Utero Interventions

Medical in utero intervention includes drug management of life-threatening fetal arrhythmias and treatment of heart failure. Rhythm abnormalities most often are diagnosed initially by the obstetrician. In many cases the abnormal heart beats are intermittent and do not lead to fetal compromise.

In some cases, however the heart can beat too fast or too slow and can lead to heart failure and fetal distress. In these instances, an urgent evaluation by a fetal cardiologist should be undertaken. In many cases, these life-threatening fetal arrhythmias can be treated by delivering medicine to the fetus by giving it to the mother. This takes a team approach, using the skills and expertise of both the high-risk obstetrician and the fetal cardiologist. Fetal heart failure can also be treated in this way in select cases by delivering medicine to the fetus by giving it to the mother.

Children's Team

Children's Team


Adre Du Plessis

Director, Fetal Medicine Institute
Division Chief, Fetal and Transitional Medicine
Children's Locations that Perform this Procedure

Children's Locations that Perform this Procedure

Treatment Service Locations

main hospital

Main Hospital

111 Michigan Avenue, NW
Washington, District of Columbia 20010

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Fetal Heart Program

When your baby needs the most advanced cardiac care, Children’s National Heart Institute is the preeminent provider of fetal cardiac services in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area.

Fetal Medicine Institute

Our fetal medicine team provides specialized, expert care for babies during pregnancy, delivery, and the postnatal period.