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.