Early Fetal Echocardiography (EFE) is generally defined as a fetal cardiac scan performed until 16 weeks of gestation. Fetal indications for EFE in the first trimester are in strong connection with ultrasound findings during routine nuchal scan: early diagnosed extracardiac malformations, abnormal ductus venosus (DV) velocimetry, tricuspid valve regurgitation (TR), single umbilical artery and increased NT measurement as a major fetal factor. Essential components of EFE include: abdominal view (AbdV), four chamber view (4CV), three vessel view (3VV), origin and cross-over of the great arteries (GA), aortic arch (AoA), ductal arch (DA), superior and inferior venae cavae and at least 2 pulmonary veins.
EFE has some limitations, which determine delayed diagnosis of some CHDs. Early fetal echocardiography is feasible and reasonable. It gives parents the opportunity to exclude approximately 60% of cardiac abnormalities and to reassure them of normal heart anatomy as early as possible.
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