What is a fetal echo?
A fetal echo is an ultrasound test that focuses on the fetus' heart.
What situations call for a fetal echo?
There are many reasons why your doctor may want this test. Below is a list of some common indications:
Family history of congenital heart disease/predisposing maternal conditions:
- Advanced maternal age
- Connective tissue disease
- “Street drugs”
- Oral contraceptives
- Phenytoin (dilantin)
- Suspected fetal anomaly based on obstetric ultrasound
- Abnormal amniotic fluid volume
- Abnormal fetal growth
- Abnormal chromosomes
- Multiple gestation
- Fetal cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heart beat)
How is the test performed?
The equipment used to perform this test is identical to the equipment used to perform cardiac echocardiograms and routine prenatal ultrasounds. A pediatric cardiologist will be present for the test and will discuss the results with your obstetrician at the completion of the exam. There is no need to have a full bladder for this test.