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Fetal Echocardiography

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
  • Diabetes
  • Isoimmunization

Environmental exposures:

  • Alcohol
  • “Street drugs”
  • Antihypertensives
  • Lithium
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Phenytoin (dilantin)
  • Isotretinoin
  • Tocolytics
  • Rubella

Abnormal pregnancy:

  • 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.

Morristown Medical Center

100 Madison Avenue
Morristown, NJ 07960

Overlook Medical Center

99 Beauvoir Avenue
Summit, NJ 07901

Newton Medical Center

175 High Street
Newton, NJ 07860

Chilton Medical Center

97 West Parkway
Pompton Plains, NJ 07444

Hackettstown Medical Center

651 Willow Grove Street
Hackettstown, NJ 07840

Goryeb Children's Hospital

100 Madison Avenue
Morristown, NJ 07960


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based health care providers.