Fetal echocardiogram test is relatively new modality of ultrasound test for detecting multiple fetal heart problems that went unnoticed during level 2 ultrasound test in majority of the cases. It is just like a routine ultrasound test.
Fetal echocardiogram test should be carry out by a dedicated pediatric cardiologist only.
As we know that every year, lakhs of the children are delivered with multiple types of congenital heart defects including heart beat or rhythm problems or fetal heart pumping issues, making this as a most common congenital defects in the children, so we should keep fetal echocardiogram test on a priority list of investigations that should be carried out during the pregnancy.
We can suspect few heart diseases even during level 2 USG test, but by doing fetal echocardiogram; we can come to know almost 90-95% of heart problems in fetal life itself.
Fetal echocardiogram is a very useful test as by detecting heart problems in a fetus, we can counsel the parents for future outlooks related to that particular heart concern. We can plan whether to carry on pregnancy or not, or where should we deliver the baby as few cardiac diseases are life threating to the newborn babies in first few hours of the life so baby should be delivered in a setup where neonatologist, pediatric cardiologist as well as pediatric cardiac surgeon are available to take care of the neonate.
Fetal echocardiogram test can be carried out after 18 weeks of conception in majority of the pregnancies.
Expectant mother can come after taking food as well she is not expected to hold the urine for the test.
Fetal echocardiogram is free from any risk involved either to mother or the fetus.
If any of ultrasound report is showing concerns related to fetal heart or in few high risk pregnancies (like mother is known case of diabetes, IVF or twin pregnancy, any history of birth defects of the heart in the family etc), fetal echocardiogram should be carried out without any doubt.
Parents can be counselled in detail if any fetal heart problem is detected after doing fetal echocardiogram test.