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Foetal echocardiography

Ecocardiografia fetal a Vall d'Hebron

Foetal echocardiography is used when the foetus is still in the womb, usually during the second trimester of pregnancy, between 18 and 24 weeks of gestation.

In this ultrasound study, the heart of the foetus is observed and its anatomy and function analysed. It is important to check the cardiovascular system of the foetus is working correctly, and if this is not the case, to diagnose the congenital heart disease as soon as possible. This way, we can plan the treatment ahead of time and make sure we have everything in place for the birth of the child.

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Maternity and Children's Hospital

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Description

What does it involve?

 

The procedure is similar to a pregnancy ultrasound, and can be performed through the abdomen or vagina. In the first case, the doctor in charge of doing the test applies ice to the abdomen and then passes a probe over the stomach that emits sound waves that bounce off the heart of the baby. Thanks to these waves, the image of the organ is shown on the screen of the device. In the second case, the probe is smaller and is inserted into the vagina.

With this test, the specialist can see the flow of blood passing through the heart, the heart rate and the structures of the heart. At Vall d'Hebron, a team of cardiologists and obstetricians evaluate the images together, in order to guarantee proper diagnosis.

At Vall d'Hebron, diagnosis and treatment of congenital heart disease begins before birth, in the Foetal Medicine Unit, and continues until adulthood, in the Congenital Heart Disease Unit.

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