Ultrasonographic Evaluation of Fetal Heart

  • Namik Demir

Received Date: 28.01.2008 Accepted Date: 29.07.2008 J Turk Ger Gynecol Assoc 2008;9(3):179-185

Congenital heart diseases (CHD) are the most common congenital anomalies, and most cases occur in the low-risk population. The majority of babies with congenital heart disease are born to mothers with no identifiable high-risk factors and so will not be detected unless there is widespread screening of the low-risk population. Congenital heart disease is eight times more common than trisomy 21 and four times more common than neural tube defects, two conditions for which universal screening programs are in place. But most of the countries in Europe do not perform routine fetal cardiac screening. Staff performing routine obstetric ultrasound scans should learn a simple technique for examining the fetal heart and to use this in all patients. The aim of this review is to discuss the diagnostic efficacy of the first-trimester and second trimester fetal cardiac screening as a routine measure in an unselected ‘low-risk’ population.

Keywords: Fetal echocardiography, prenatal diagnosis, congenital heart disease, first trimester, second trimester