Fetal Echocardiogram

Approximately 1-in-100 fetuses have some form of congenital heart disease, the majority of which are mild septal defects. Other less common forms of fetal cardiac disease can be very complex and may have significant implications for ongoing pregnancy management and delivery planning. A fetal echocardiogram (ECHO) is a more detailed examination of the baby’s heart than is normally performed at the 18-20 week anatomy scan. A fetal ECHO is ideally performed at 22-24 weeks, when the heart is larger and easier to image.

At SHORE FOR WOMEN, we have a particular interest in congenital heart disease and Dr. Colin Walsh has performed hundreds of fetal ECHOs in high-risk pregnancies. Cases for which a fetal ECHO is recommended include:

  • Previous baby or family member affected by congenital heart disease
  • Pre-pregnancy (type I or type II) diabetes mellitus
  • Monochorionic twin pregnancies
  • Demonstrated extra-cardiac fetal abnormalities on fetal anatomy scan
  • A high (>3.5mm) NT measurement on combined 1st trimester screening
  • Women taking certain medications (anti-epileptics, SSRIs, NSAIDs, lithium)

Most, but not all, types of congenital heart disease may be diagnosed prenatally. The team at SHORE FOR WOMEN have managed large numbers of the following anomalies:

  • Isolated ventricular septal defects (VSDs)
  • Atrio-ventricular septal defect (AVSD)
  • Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome
  • Pericardial effusion
  • Tetralogy of Fallot and Double Outlet Right Ventricle (DORV)
  • Transposition of the Great Arteries
  • Fetal cardiac arrhythmias (SVT and congenital heart block)

Other Specialist Ultrasound Lists

  • Mater Hospital
  • North Shore Private Hospital
  • The University Of Sydney
  • Royal College Of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists