• Vol. 29 No. 4, 510–513
  • 15 July 2000

A Case Report on the Perinatal Management of a 30-week Preterm Baby with Congenital Complete Heart Block

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ABSTRACT

Introduction: Congenital complete heart block is an uncommon condition in the newborn, but is known to occur with maternal systemic lupus erythematosus.

Clinical Picture: This paper presents one such baby with complete heart block who was born premature (after a gestation of 30 weeks) and weighing 759 g.

Treatment: Continuous isoprenaline infusion was initially used to support the baby while her other neonatal problems were treated. A Medtronics VVI pacemaker was subsequently inserted to maintain a heart rate that would be more physiologically acceptable for the patient.

Outcome: This baby is currently thriving well, having been followed up for one year.

Conclusions: The management issues, encompassing maternal and neonatal problems, and a review of current literature on this condition are discussed.


The association between congenital complete heart block (CHB) and maternal autoimmune disorders has been described for many years. Maternal systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is the commonest of these disorders, and a leading cause of heart block in newborns.

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