Fetal Echo

Fetal Echocardiography

A Fetal Echo is a special type of ultrasound in which the sonographer and physician perform a complete evaluation of the fetal heart.  In many cases it takes as long as a complete fetal ultrasound because the heart is a very complex organ.  A trained physician and sonographer can evaluate for abnormal heart structure and heart function.

Who should get a Fetal Echo?  There are many risk factors for birth defects involving the heart.  Many risk factors for congenital heart defects exist.  Some examples (not all) of risk factors that qualify for having a Fetal echo include:

  • Family history of a heart defect
  • If you are overweight and believe your body mass index is over 40.  Please use this link to calculate body mass index:  BMI Calculator.
  • Conception was through infertility such as IVF/IUI or some other combination
  • If you have an autoimmune disorder and have SSA or SSB antibodies
  • If you have pre-existing Type I or Type II diabetes or your Hemoglobin A1 before pregnancy was elevated.
  • Exposure to some medications in the first trimester.  Review this history with a provider.
  • If other birth defects are suspected.
  • If abnormal chromosomes are suspected.

The best option is to discuss risk factors with a provider.