Fetal echocardiography is the test used to diagnose cardiac conditions in the fetus ( unborn baby). Cardiac defects are amongst the most common birth defects.
Diagnosis of cardiac defects in fetal stage will provide an opportunity to plan and manage the baby as and when the baby is born.
Some of the maternal and fetal condition mentioned below would indicate the need for fetal echo
Maternal conditions: 1). Diabetes 2.) Antiepileptic drug intake 3). Prev child born with CHD 4). Infections: Parvovirus, Rubella, Coxsackie 5.) AutoImmune Disease: Anti Rho/La positive
Fetal conditions: 1). Increased Nuchal thickness 2). Abnormal ductus venosus 3). Abnormal fetal cardiac screening 4). Major extracardiac abnormality 5). Abnormal Fetal karyotype 6). Hydrops 7). Fetal dysrthythhmia
Colour and pulse Doppler techniques can be used to visualize blood flow through the heart, great vessels, . Assessment of fetal arrhythmias is best accomplished by using a combination of M-mode and Doppler recordings. When these arrhythmias are present, a careful search for structural heart disease is mandatory. diagnosis of complex congenital heart disease before delivery allows therapeutic interventions to begin immediately after birth and can save the life of new born.. knowledge about the presence and severity of congenital cardiac defects facilitated management of labor and delivery and allowed perinatal care to be optimized.