Fetal echocardiography

During the nuchal scan (11-13 weeks), the anomaly scan (20-24 weeks) and wellbeing scan (30-34 weeks) we routinely examine the fetal heart and connecting blood vessels.

A specialist examination of the fetal heart (fetal echocardiography) is recommended for:

  • Women with family history of congenital heart abnormalities, those with diabetes mellitus and those exposed to teratogenic drugs
  • Fetuses with suspected heart defect and those with increased nuchal translucency or certain non-cardiac abnormalities detected during the routine scans

The scans are usually performed at 18-24 weeks gestation, but can be undertaken from as early as 13 weeks if necessary. If an abnormality is found, a detailed explanation of the problem and the outlook for the baby will be provided to the parents and a plan for the subsequent management of the pregnancy will be discussed.