Evaluating the fetal heart: How do we improve?


Basic fetal echocardiography as part of the routine anatomy scan is very useful in showing both normal fetal hearts and abnormal cardiovascular physiology and anatomy. In maternal fetal and pediatric cardiology centers where fetal echo is routinely performed, over 97 % of significant anatomic and physiologic anomalies and arrhythmias can be identified. However, most fetuses with these issues are missed at the routine fetal anatomy scan for a variety of reasons. It is therefore incumbent upon those who are facile with the techniques of fetal echo to teach and promote the use of simple training methods by examples. We highly recommend the use of video clips of the fetal heart to show the anatomic and functional relationships of the veins, atria, ventricles and great arteries.

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