27 2 / 2012

Well I thought my first informative piece should be on the Fetal Echocardiography, and what it is.

Disclaimer: In no way should this page be a substitute for professional medical care or attention by a qualified practitioner, nor should it be inferred as such. ALWAYS check with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about a condition. The information I provide is only based on my knowledge.

A Fetal Echocardiography is a procedure carried out while the baby is still in the womb, its similar to a regular pregnancy ultrasound. But will usually be carried out by a Consultant Paediatric Cardiologist.

The test can detect:

  1. Abnormalities where the heart chambers, valves or arteries are either formed or attached abnormally
  2. Large holes in the heart and most severe forms of blockages of the two main arteries (Blood vessels) arising from the heart
  3. Most, but not all, forms of major and severe heart abnormalities

(Above information taken from Liverpool Womens Hospital Fetal Echocardiography leaflet)

The test isn’t 100% guaranteed, as blockages to valves and arteries can develop throughout pregnancy, even if everything appears normal at the time your scanned.

There are certain things that are undetectable, which type of babies this will happen too, smaller holes / blockages, blockages / holes not present at the time of the scan, and heart muscle abnormalities.

At the end of the specialised scan, a regular sonographer will complete the usual growth scan scanning all other aspects to assure growth is normal.

From Personal Experience
This scan is far from your regular scan, it was generally silent throughout. With some advance observations being made, roughly 30-35 pictures are taken via ultrasound in order to diagnose any issue there may be.