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Fetal Echocardiogram

What is a Fetal Echocardiogram?

A fetal echocardiogram is very similar to the ultrasound you may have had in your obstetrician’s office. It is an advanced diagnostic test that uses ultrasonic waves to create a moving picture of the baby’s heart. These pictures are used to detect cardiac conditions such as congenital heart disease in a baby as early as the 18th gestational week.

What to expect during your fetal echo?

A highly trained fetal echocardiography technician will place a small camera (a transducer) and gel on your abdomen while you lay down.

  • Sound waves will bounce off the baby’s organs and images are sent back to the camera showing moving picture of the baby’s heart and can detect blood flow throughout the heart.
  • Approximately 120 images of the heart, which depending upon fetal movement, could take approximately an hour to complete.

Our pediatric fetal experts, with these images, with these images, can view the structure, function and rhythm of a baby’s heart. They will provide you with an in-depth consultation to discuss the results of the rest and, if necessary, design a plan of care along with your provider obstetrician and maternal fetal medicine provider.

Most commonly seen prenatal cardiac diagnoses include:

  • Atrial septal defect
  • Ventricular septal defect
  • Tetralogy of Fallot
  • Complete atrioventricular canal defect
  • Hypoplastic left heart syndrome
  • Cardiac masses
  • Transposition of the great arteries
  • Pulmonary atresia
  • Tricuspid atresia
  • Arrhythmias
  • Interrupted aortic arch
  • Anomalous pulmonary venous return

For additional information or make a referral, please feel free to contact our Regional Fetal Evaluation Center at (215) 427-5521.

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