What is a Fetal Echocardiography / Fetal Echo?
A Fetal Echocardiography, also called Fetal Echo, is a detailed cardiac assessment using a special ultrasound for the fetus in the womb. The fetal echocardiogram provides information related to the following:
- Fetal Cardiac Anatomy & Function
- Fetal Heart Rhythm
- Fetal Heart Failure & Distress
King’s Fetal Echo Services are performed by the renowned Dr. Mohamed Sulaiman, who has 20 years’ experience and is a leading Consultant Pediatric & Fetal Cardiologist in Dubai. Dr. Mohamed Sulaiman is American Board of Pediatrics & Pediatric Cardiology certified.
Why might a Fetal Echo be recommended for you?
The most important reason for a Fetal Echo to be performed is that congenital heart disease (CHD) is suspected during a routine obstetrician ultrasound. CHD’s are one of the most common types of birth defects. The diagnosis at fetal stage provides the best opportunity to plan and manage the baby after birth.
CHD occurs in less than 1% of newborns but it the main cause of death in infancy. The correct fetal diagnosis by a trained fetal echo cardiologist helps to decrease mortality and improve outcomes.
Risk Factors for a Fetal Echo referral
- FH or Congenital Heart Disease in mother, father, sibling
- Previous unexplained fetal or neonatal death
- Metabolic disease, diabetes
- Infections such as: Parvo B19, Rubella, Coxsackle
- Autoimmune antibodies
- Drugs (antiepileptics) or other teratogens
- Increased nuchal translucency
- Abnormal ductus venosus waveform
- Abnormal 4-chamber view
- Abnormal chromosomes
- Hydrops or effusion
- IVF or multiple gestation
- Abnormal heart axis or size
When is a Fetal Echocardiography best performed?
The scan is best performed by around 20-25 weeks but can be done anytime between 16-40 weeks.