Utility of fetal echocardiography after normal cardiac imaging findings on detailed fetal anatomic ultrasonography

Author Department

Ob/Gyn; Pediatrics

Document Type

Article, Peer-reviewed

Publication Date



OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to assess the utility of fetal echocardiography (FE) after normal fetal cardiac imaging findings during detailed fetal anatomic ultrasonography (FAU). METHODS: We conducted a retrospective cohort review of obstetric ultrasonographic studies from November 2001 through July 2005. We identified women with a singleton gestation with increased risk for congenital heart disease who received FAU performed by a maternal-fetal medicine specialist at 16 to 20 weeks' gestation with subsequent FE. These records were compared with newborn outcomes. RESULTS: Of 789 pregnancies that had FAU and FE, 481 had satisfactory cardiac imaging. Of those, only 1 fetus had abnormal FE findings. After delivery, 4 of the 480 neonates with normal FAU and FE findings had a diagnosis of a heart defect. CONCLUSIONS: Fetal echocardiography does not substantially increase the detection rate of major cardiac anomalies after normal findings on detailed FAU performed by a maternal-fetal medicine specialist.

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