Latest advances and topics in fetal echocardiography

Aarti Hejmadi Bhat, David J. Sahn

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Purpose of review: Fetal diagnosis and the supporting specialties of perinatology, neonatology, and surgery have made rapid strides in the last decade. Numerous centers are focusing on this multifaceted niche area as the medical field realizes its vast promise and potential. The authors review some of the major advancements in thought and practice in the field of fetal echocardiography while attempting to give a less detailed overview for the less involved perinatologist. Recent findings: First trimester fetal echocardiography has been an area of recent interest as transducer technology improves. As a result, optimum timing of first and subsequent scans and the population profile they are to be applied to have become an issue that begs consensus. Three-dimensional and four-dimensional fetal echocardiography have also received a boost for the same reasons, and both are being studied for feasibility and accuracy. Fetal tissue Doppler and spectral Doppler imaging are potential areas for exploration; the early steps have been taken. Awareness of associated ultrasound markers, such as exaggerated nuchal translucency, as clues to the presence of congenital heart disease is important, even if controversial. Summary: The issue of missed prenatal diagnosis is disturbing, especially when it arises against a background of tremendous skill and technologic support. Strategies to minimize mistakes in this critical aspect need to be agreed on by the involved teams and put in place in a multidisciplinary manner if they are to have an important impact.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-103
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Cardiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2004


  • Congenital heart disease
  • Fetal diagnosis
  • Fetal echocardiography
  • Fetal heart disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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