How Long Does a Fetal Echocardiogram Take? It can take 30 minutes to 2 hours to get the pictures needed to see all the parts of the heart. Sometimes, the position of the baby can make it hard to see the heart, and the test will take longer.

Similarly, you may ask, when should a fetal echocardiogram be done?

Fetal echocardiography is a test similar to an ultrasound. This exam allows your doctor to better see the structure and function of your unborn child's heart. It's typically done in the second trimester, between weeks 18 to 24.

Secondly, why do I need a fetal echocardiogram? A fetal echocardiogram can evaluate both the structure and function of the heart. For this reason it is useful in looking for birth defects of the heart and heart rhythm problems as well as for assessing fetal well being if the baby is found to have other potential problems during the pregnancy.

Considering this, how is a fetal echo performed?

The test is typically performed by a specially trained ultrasound sonographer and the images are interpreted by a pediatric cardiologist who specializes in fetal congenital heart disease. There is gel applied to the mother's abdomen, the ultrasound probe is gently placed on the mother's abdomen and pictures are taken.

How accurate is a fetal echocardiogram?

Specificity and sensitivity of fetal echocardiography for cardiac abnormalities were found to be 98 and 42%, respectively. The positive predictive value of echocardiography was 90% and the negative predictive value 93%.

Related Question Answers

What is normal fetal heart rate?

A normal fetal heart rate (FHR) usually ranges from 120 to 160 beats per minute (bpm) in the in utero period. It is measurable sonographically from around 6 weeks and the normal range varies during gestation, increasing to around 170 bpm at 10 weeks and decreasing from then to around 130 bpm at term.

What can I expect from a fetal echocardiogram?

What Happens During a Fetal Echocardiogram? A fetal echocardiogram is done in a darkened room, while you are lying down. It is similar to a routine ultrasound during pregnancy. Gel put on your belly helps sounds waves travel from the echocardiogram wand (called the transducer) to the baby's heart and back again.

Can you see heart defects on an ultrasound?

Many heart defects can be detected before birth through the use of a special type of sonography called fetal echocardiography. Sound waves are used to create a picture of the baby's heart. Health care providers can use the information from this ultrasound to diagnose the condition and develop a treatment plan.

What causes a heart defect in a fetus?

A congenital heart defect (CHD) is a heart problem that a baby has at birth. It is caused by abnormal formation of the heart during growth in the womb. In most cases, when a baby is born with a congenital heart defect, there is no known reason for it. They may be linked to single gene defects.

Why echo test is done?

Your doctor may use an echo test to look at your heart's structure and check how well your heart functions. The test helps your doctor find out: The size and shape of your heart, and the size, thickness and movement of your heart's walls. If there is a tumor or infectious growth around your heart valves.

Is Echo safe during pregnancy?

The echocardiogram, an ultrasound of the heart, is often used during pregnancy. It is safe to use and may be combined with a Doppler to study valve flow within the heart and assess overall cardiac function. This test may be performed frequently during pregnancy to update a physician on a woman's cardiac status.

Can heart defects be detected before birth?

The good news is that we are now better than ever at catching them early. In some cases, a heart defect can be detected during pregnancy by prenatal ultrasounds. These tests are usually done about 4 months into a pregnancy, and allow doctors to see a fetus's heart and check for problems.

What is a Level 2 ultrasound?

Level 2 Ultrasounds

A Level 2 ultrasound is a comprehensive, detailed evaluation of fetal anatomy and development. It is a much more in-depth evaluation of the fetus than a standard or Level 1 ultrasound. The ultrasound examination is usually performed at about 20 weeks gestational age.

Can you drink coffee before an echo?

On the day of the stress echocardiogram, do not eat or drink anything except water for four hours before the test. Do not drink or eat caffeinated products (cola, chocolate, coffee, tea) for 24 hours before the test. Caffeine will interfere with the results of your test.

When should fetal echo be done?

Fetal echocardiography is a test that is done while the baby is still in the womb. It is most often done during the second trimester of pregnancy. This is when a woman is about 18 to 24 weeks pregnant. The procedure is similar to that of a pregnancy ultrasound.

What can I expect at my 20 week scan?

At the 20week scan, you'll probably see your baby's heart beating, the curve of baby's spine, baby's face, and baby's arms waving and legs kicking. There might even be some cute thumb-sucking. Because you can see so much in this scan, you might get a stronger sense of the baby or babies coming into your life.

What is Echocardiology?

Echocardiography is a test that uses sound waves to produce live images of your heart. This test allows your doctor to monitor how your heart and its valves are functioning. The images can help them spot: blood clots in the heart. fluid in the sac around the heart.

What is fetal cardiac anomaly?

Atrial septal defect (ASD) is characterized by defect in a portion of the atrial septum. It is the fifth most common congenital heart disease, seen in 1 of 1500 live births [1], and is caused by abnormal tissue resorption and deposition during development of the atrial septum.

How many ultrasound do you have during pregnancy?

Most healthy women receive two ultrasound scans during pregnancy. “The first is, ideally, in the first trimester to confirm the due date, and the second is at 18-22 weeks to confirm normal anatomy and the sex of the baby,” explains Mendiola.

Is fetal echocardiogram covered by insurance?

Consider a Fetal Echo

Finally, insurance companies should cover any reason for receiving the high-level ultrasound, even if it is patient-initiated. This life-saving test can help both doctors and parents prepare for surgery, if needed.

What is echo test?

An echocardiogram (echo) is a graphic outline of the heart's movement. During an echo test, ultrasound (high-frequency sound waves) from a hand-held wand placed on your chest provides pictures of the heart's valves and chambers and helps the sonographer evaluate the pumping action of the heart.

What can I expect during an echocardiogram?

For most types of echo, you will remove your clothing from the waist up. Women will be given a gown to wear during the test. You'll lie on your back or left side on an exam table or stretcher. Soft, sticky patches called electrodes will be attached to your chest to allow an EKG (electrocardiogram) to be done.

Can a fetus have a heart attack?

Heart rhythm problems

There is a wide range of acceptable fetal heart rates (normal is between 120 and 160 but many normal fetuses have heart rates as low as 90 with no concerns). It is also very common for the fetus to have occasional premature or early beats that are benign and usually go away shortly after birth.

How do you perform an echocardiogram?

In this standard type of echocardiogram:
  1. A technician (sonographer) spreads gel on a device (transducer).
  2. The sonographer presses the transducer firmly against your skin, aiming an ultrasound beam through your chest to your heart.
  3. The transducer records the sound wave echoes from your heart.