Home > Journals > Minerva Ginecologica > Past Issues > Minerva Ginecologica 2012 October;64(5) > Minerva Ginecologica 2012 October;64(5):375-85

CURRENT ISSUE
 

JOURNAL TOOLS

eTOC
To subscribe PROMO
Submit an article
Recommend to your librarian
 

ARTICLE TOOLS

Reprints

 

  CARDIAC PROBLEMS IN PREGNANCY 

Minerva Ginecologica 2012 October;64(5):375-85

Copyright © 2012 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

First trimester fetal echocardiography: where are we now?

Votino C. 1, Cos T. 1, Strizek B. 1, Dessy H. 2, Jani J. C. 1

1 Departments of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University Hospital Brugmann, Brussels, Belgium; 2 Department of Pediatric Cardiology, Reine Fabiola Children Hospital, Brussels, Belgium


PDF


The detailed study of the fetal cardiac anatomy in the first trimester of pregnancy by means of ultrasound is feasible whether using a transvaginal or a transabdominal approach. There is nowadays enough evidence that ultrasound in the first trimester of pregnancy is a safe procedure provided thermal and mechanical indices are taken into account. The best timing for successful imaging of the four chambers and great arteries in early gestation appears to be between around 13 to 14 weeks rather than 11 to 12 weeks. In experienced hands, first-trimester fetal echocardiography is quite sensitive for the detection of major structural cardiac abnormalities. Besides the nasal bone, markers for first trimester screening of chromosomal abnormalities such as nuchal translucency thickness, the flow in the ductus venosus and the flow through the tricuspid valve constitute also markers for cardiac abnormalities. The finding of an increased nuchal translucency, an abnormal flow in the ductus venosus or a tricuspid regurgitation constitutes an indication for more detailed fetal cardiac assessment. Other indication for a detailed cardiac assessment is the finding of an aberrant right subclavian artery and vascular anomalies. The emerging importance of these markers has caused renewed interest in the early study of the fetal heart.

top of page