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Fetal Echocardiography

The Children’s Heart Center offers fetal echocardiography, which is an ultrasound test of the fetal heart.

What situations call for a fetal echo?

A pediatric cardiologist may order this test for many reasons, including:

  • Family history of congenital heart disease
  • Predisposed maternal conditions:
    • Advanced maternal ageConnective tissue disease
    • Diabetes
    • Isoimmunization
  • Environmental exposures:
    • Alcohol
    • Antihypertensives
    • Isotretinoin
    • Lithium
    • Oral contraceptives
    • Phenytoin, or dilantin
    • Recreational or illegal drugs
    • Rubella
    • Tocolytics
  • Abnormal pregnancy:
    • Abnormal amniotic fluid volume
    • Abnormal chromosomes
    • Abnormal fetal growth
    • Fetal cardiac arrhythmia, or irregular heart beat
    • Multiple gestation
    • Suspected fetal anomaly based on obstetric ultrasound

How is the test performed?

The equipment used to perform this test is similar 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.

As part of Atlantic Health System Children’s Health, physician services are provided through Atlantic Medical Group and are on staff at Goryeb Children’s Hospital.