What is a Fetal Echocardiography?
The Fetal Echocardiography is a prenatal ultrasound test that examines the structure and function of the fetus’s heart to detect any congenital heart defects. It employs the same ultrasound technology as other prenatal scanning examinations performed by Fetal Medicine Specialists. Fetal echo is typically performed between 16 and 22 weeks of gestation, but this test can also be performed earlier (13 weeks) or as late as the end of the third trimester of pregnancy, but it is technically difficult at this stage.
Who Should Have a Fetal Echocardiography?
It is possible to have a congenital heart defect during pregnancy for a variety of reasons, including fetal, maternal or family factors.
Fetal risk factors include:
- Hearts that appear abnormal
- An abnormal heart rate or arrhythmia on a routine ultrasound screening
- (Chromosome abnormality) Aneuploidy
- At the first trimester evaluation, the nuchal translucency thickness increased
- Non-cardiac structural abnormalities of the fetus
- Having a two-vessel umbilical cord
- The twins
- Fluid accumulation in a fetus
- Genetic abnormalities could include disorders with an abnormal number of chromosomes, for example, Down syndromeple
- A routine ultrasound may reveal a heart abnormality
- Prenatal ultrasound will detect abnormalities outside of the fetus’ heart, such as extra fluid around the lungs or the heart, or an abnormality of another organ, such as the kidneys or brain.
- An abnormal heartbeat or rhythm of the fetus. It can be a fast or slow heartbeat or irregular heartbeat.