Ultrasound examination of the heart of the fetus (fetal echocardiography - FECHO) - Ultrasound examination Ostrava, Olomouc - Ishraq Dhaifalah - Centre of Fetal Medicine and Human Genetics Ostrava, Olomouc Ishraq Dhaifalah - Centre of Fetal Medicine and Human Genetics Ostrava, Olomouc

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Fetal heart – FECHO

Examination of the heart of the fetus (fetal echocardiography - FECHO) is one of the most important ultrasound examinations during pregnancy. Congenital heart defects are the commonest congenital defects and their presence may signify more complex problems (genetic or chromosomal syndromes). Ideal time to perform a detailed examination the heart is between 20th and 23rd week of pregnancy.

During the first trimester examination of the heart is very challenging, but we can visualise basic anatomical details, such as the shape of both chambers and ventricles, and under ideal conditions also an outflow tract (aorta and pulmonary artery). We can measure blood flow across the tricuspid valve and determine a presence of reflux, which can indicate a heart defect or chromosomal fetal abnormality. Abnormal heart rate can also be a sign of chromosomal abnormality.

Normal ultrasound examination in first trimester is followed by standard examination between 20th and 23rd week of pregnancy. We visualise the basic anatomy of the heart, ventricular system, integrity of atrial and ventricular septum, outflow tract, short and long heart axis and heart frequency. When all the findings are normal the heart is again briefly examined in the third trimester.

When an abnormality is found or when a suspicion of heart defect is raised we recommend a specialised examination to determine a definitive diagnosis. This is performed by a paediatric cardiologist.

The risk of fetal heart defect is higher in when there is a similar problem in a close relative (parent, sibling), when the mother suffers from chronic illnesses (diabetes, lupus, fenylketonuria, epilepsy), when there was an acute illness in the mother (certain infections, fever) and following some medications. Detailed examination is also indicated when another defect is found, or when there is a suspicion of a chromosomal or genetic aberration in the fetus.

FETMED s.r.o.

FacebookOSTRAVA - Dr. Martínka 7, 700 30 Ostrava – Hrabůvka, Czech Republic
tel.: +420 773 190 249, fetmed@seznam.cz

OLOMOUC - Horní Lán 1200/13, 779 00 Olomouc, Czech Republic
tel.: +420 605 825 780, fetmed.ol@seznam.cz

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