Donald School Journal of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology

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VOLUME 3 , ISSUE 3 ( July-September, 2009 ) > List of Articles


Early Fetal Echocardiography at the Time of 11+0–13+6 Weeks Scan

Agnieszka Nocun, Marcin Wiechec, Jill Beithon RT

Keywords : Early fetal echocardiography,early prenatal diagnosis,first trimester,congenital heart defects

Citation Information : Nocun A, Wiechec M, Beithon RT J. Early Fetal Echocardiography at the Time of 11+0–13+6 Weeks Scan. Donald School J Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol 2009; 3 (3):75-82.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10009-1023

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 01-06-2010

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2009; The Author(s).


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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