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FETAL ECHOCARDIOGRAPHY UNIT

Consultations are provided every Tuesday at the prenatal diagnosis room No. 18.

You must make an appointment at the Registration Desk or call at 02 441 79 193 970 70 and 0882193970

Physician:Dr. Marinov is available to our patients at Nadezhda Hospital

About Fetal Echocardiography

Contemporary medicine makes it possible to diagnose most of the fetal disorders during the intrauterine fetal development.

The most common congenital disorders are the congenital heart malformations (CHD). They are determined during the pregnancy by fetal echocardiography (FE).

Fetal echocardiography uses ultrasound to examine the structure and function of fetal heart. An image of the heart is also displayed during a routine gynecological ultrasound examination, but this is the fetal echocardiography, performed by a specialist - pediatric cardiologist, that allows achieving a detailed and expert evaluation of the fetal heart and the fetal blood circulation.

The risk of congenital heart malformations is higher in some women, so they are recommended to have a specialized medical examination carried out by a pediatric cardiologist.

Risk groups: cases of CHD in the family (parents or children with CHD), heart rhythm disorders, impairments of other organs and systems found out during a routine gynecological examination, diabetes, medications during early pregnancy, abnormal amniocentesis, miscarriage or stillbirth.

In older parents the risk is higher.

However, about 70% of those born with CHD, are not aware of their family history and risk factors. Therefore, fetal echocardiography is recommended to every pregnant woman.

The best time for the fetal echocardiogram to be performed is around 20thweek of gestation (between 18thand 22nd) and it should be performed by a specialist – a pediatric cardiologist, FE certified, who will provide an expert assessment of the fetal heart evaluation.

Fetal echocardiography is used to diagnose structural abnormalities of fetal heart (CHD), heart rhythm disorders (arrhythmias) and disorders of the cardiac function. It is extremely important to determine and thoroughly define the fetal hemodynamics and the mother-fetus-blood circulation to and from the placenta, umbilical cord, etc. Early indications of fetal distress are related to fetal blood flow disorders.

Please note that some cardiac abnormalities such as mild valvular lesions, small defects in the ventricular or atrial septum: ventricular septal defect (VSD), atrial septal defect (ASD) and others, may not be possible to be detected during the prenatal period. Once examined fetal heart will serve as a basis for any further detailed analyses of the baby’s heart after their birth.

If the fetus has been diagnosed with CHD, the parents together with the pediatric cardiologist and the gynecologist will discuss the prospects and outcome of pregnancy. Sometimes some additional analyses are necessary for pregnancy supervision. Planning in advance the place and type of baby’s delivery is especially important if a heart surgery has been scheduled.

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