Fetal Echocardiography

Fetal echocardiography is a specialized ultrasound that focuses on the fetal heart, including structure, blood flow and cardiac rhythm.

Why is fetal echocardiography performed?
You may need fetal echocardiography if:

  • You have a previous child born with a congenital heart defect
  • You have a family history of heart problems
  • You have maternal diabetes
  • Your baby has fetal arrhythmia (abnormal cardiac rhythm)
  • You have been exposed to certain medications or teratogens
  • Your baby has other noncardiac abnormalities
  • Your baby has a chromosomal abnormality
  • Previous ultrasounds show abnormal cardiac views 

Who will perform a fetal echocardiogram?
Fetal echocardiogram is performed by a specially-trained sonographer and interpreted by a maternal fetal medicine specialist or pediatric cardiologist. 

When is a fetal echocardiogram performed?
Most are performed after 20 weeks of gestation. 

What can I expect during a fetal echocardiogram?
The test is painless, noninvasive and no different from a normal transabdominal ultrasound.

Where are fetal echocardiograms performed?
The test is performed at our maternal fetal medicine office.