Who Should Have a Fetal Echocardiogram
Fetal echocardiograms are not needed for all pregnancies. If your baby’s heart was evaluated during a detailed, second-trimester ultrasound, sometimes referred to as an anatomical survey, you may not require further testing with a fetal echocardiogram.
Pregnancies may be at risk for congenital heart disease for a variety of reasons. If you are pregnant with a child who is at risk for a congenital heart defect, you may be referred to CHOC by your OB/Gyn, perinatologist or health care provider for a fetal echocardiogram by a board-certified pediatric cardiologist.
We also welcome pregnant women who would like to schedule directly with us for a screening echocardiogram, additional consultation or second opinion.
You may see a CHOC fetal cardiologist for a number of reasons, including:
Fetal risk factors include:
- During your second-trimester ultrasound, there was a suspected abnormality of the heart
- Abnormal heart rate or arrhythmia on routine screening ultrasound
- A suspected genetic abnormality
- If there is an abnormality in another organ, such as the brain or kidneys, there may be an increased risk of associated heart disease
- Identical twins
- A two-vessel umbilical cord or abnormality with the placenta
- Fluid accumulation in the baby
Maternal risk factors include:
- Maternal diabetes mellitus prior to conception, during first-trimester or uncontrolled diabetes mellitus
- Assisted reproductive technology (IVF)
- Metabolic disease
- Autoimmune disease (Sjorgren’s syndrome or Lupus)
- Medication or drug exposures
- Maternal infections
Familial risk factors include:
- Congenital heart disease in the mother, father or sibling