Fetal Echocardiogram

WHAT IS FETAL ECHO?
Fetal echocardiography (Echo) is a assessment method used for knowing condition of heart in an unborn child.The procedures are carried out by a cardiologist.In the fetal condition,only body part that has movement is heart.It is a complex organ inside a baby’s body that normally beats at a rate of 150-180/min which amounts to 2-3 times/sec.In order to evaluate its structure with detail which beats in a such a phase, requires a specialized equipment.Not only that,it needs an expert who can effectively recognize abnormalities with child’s heart. In a complete fetal echo test almost 15 structures of heart is analyzed.

WHO NEEDS TO HAVE A FETAL ECHO ?
The defects and abnormalities associated with heart is detected by Ultrasound heart screening procedures.Even when heart defects are a common birth defect in India, proper measures are not taken to identify it.

The fetal echocardiography procedures are initiated if thorough ultrasound screening identifies following conditions:

1. High risk/Precious- Pregnancy conditions

2. Complications in Obstetric History

3. Occurance of fetal anomalies identified with sonography

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4. IUGR conditions of fetus(symmetrical complications)

5. Chromosomal abnormalities in fetus

6. Abnormal heart rhythm in fetus

7. Diseases and complications in mother

A� A� a. Diabetes and Lupus condition

A� A� b. Teratogen medication exposure which affects embryo

8. Condition of congenital heart disease in previous conception

DELHI CHILD HEART CENTER
Delhi Child Heart Center has a children friendly ambiance that offers:
1. Dedicated Fetal & Pediatric Machine (Philips IE 33 with QLab)

2. Fetal Probe C51

3. Neonatal (S12), Pediatric (S7) and Adolescent (S5) Probes

4. 3D/4D Pediatric probe

WHEN TO GET IT DONE
The apt time to have a fetal echo test is 18-20 weeks of gestation period.This early intervention could help to achieve better imaging. The advent of modern technology offered this new technical solution.Even the very major abnormalities identified before 20 weeks can be managed .

HOW SURE CAN WE RELAY ON FETAL ECHO
Statistically speaking,for more than 90% one can relay on the cardiac diagnosis.It takes around 6weeks to form a fully functional heart.Regarding the defects it may initiate and become barely be evident from 18 to 20 weeks.It shoots up concerns when pregnancy gets progressed.Majority of the defects can be identififed,but there some conditions that can’t be diagnosed before birth,such as VSD,ASD,PDA etc.The higly complicated,but rarest of rarest defects also may not be diagnosed as the lungs are not functional prior to birth.

HOW COMMON IS HEART DISEASE?
Congenital heart disease is the most prevalent inborn defect.The statistics says that one out of every 100 pregnancies is reported with heart defects.The hardest fact is that,the Ulrasound scanning system in India fails to properly identify it.

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WHY DOES HEART DISEASE HAPPEN?
There may be number of factors that could contribute towards heart disease.It is a inborn defect with possibility of occurrence in 1 out of every 100 pregnancies.There is a misconception that is associated with food habit,lunar eclipse or some other phenomena,but the reality is that it is a an accident of nature.

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