Paediatric Cardiology







Fetal Cardiology




​Fetal echocardiography

Fetal echocardiography is a detailed ultrasound assessing the structure and function of the fetal heart prior to birth.

Reasons for fetal echocardiograpy include

- Suspected structural heart disease on routine screening

- Family history of congenital heart disease, chromosomal

    abnormalities or cardiomyopathy in a first degree relative

- Fetal chromosomal abnormalities (including Down syndrome

    and other trisomies)

- Extracardiac malformations (kidney, lung, gut and brain)

- Increased nuchal translucency on first trimester screening

- Maternal metabolic disorders including diabetes mellitus and


- Fetal arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythm)

- Monochorionic (identical) twin pregnancies

- Maternal exposure to certain medications or viruses during


- Fetal hydrops (accumulation of fluid within body cavities)

A detailed fetal echocardiogram can identify normal cardiac structure from early in the second trimester (from approximately 14 weeks of pregnancy).

Melbourne Paediatric Cardiology | Dr Paul Brooks