Prof. Dr. Ali EKİZ

Prof. Dr. Ali EKİZ

Gynecology and Perinatology (Risky Pregnancy) Specialist

With over 15 years of professional experience, dozens of national and international research articles, and most importantly, his smiling face, Gynecology and Perinatology Specialist Prof. Dr. Ali EKİZ is with you.

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Fetal Echocardiography

How common is heart anomaly in the unborn baby?

Heart anomaly is the most common anomaly that can occur in babies in the womb. In 8-9 of every 1000 live births, the baby is born with a mild or severe heart anomaly. Therefore, if possible, fetal ECHO should be performed by a perinatologist for every pregnant woman.

What is Fetal ECO (Echocardiography)?

Fetal ECHO is known as an imaging method used to evaluate the heart structure and functions of the unborn baby during pregnancy. An ultrasound device is used in this examination and it is a procedure performed using sound waves. The baby’s heart in the womb can be evaluated starting from the 11th week. It is recommended to perform fetal echocardiography twice in normal pregnancies. The first is between 11 and 14 weeks and the second is between 20-24 weeks. However, in high-risk pregnancies, fetal ECHO can be performed every week starting from the 11th week. Therefore, it does not cause any harm to the fetus. In this article, we have compiled what you need to know about fetal ECHO.

What Situations Does Fetal ECO (Echocardiography) Evaluate?

Conditions that can be evaluated by fetal echocardiography can be listed as follows:

• Anatomical developmental anomalies of the heart: These include anomalies concerning the heart’s cavities, valves and vascular connections. For example, great artery transposition is a vascular connection anomaly. Ebstein anomaly is an example of valve diseases. Hypoplastic left heart syndrome is an example of a defect in the arrival of the heart’s cavities.

• Diseases originating from the Cabin Muscle: Hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy, which occurs with excessive growth of the heart muscle, is the most important example. They also have tumors such as rhabdomyoma and cardiac myxoma that arise from the heart muscle.

• Problems related to blood flow: Essentially, there is an anatomical development defect underlying blood flow problems. For example, the most common anomaly of the heart is cardiac perforation, medically known as VSD (ventricular septal defect), which causes blood flow that should not exist between the cavities of the heart.

• Heart rhythm disorders: The heart also has a conduction system that resembles electrical cables. The baby’s heart in the womb beats between 110 and 160 beats per minute. Cabin speed may fall below 100 beats per minute or exceed 200 beats per minute due to various diseases. These are called bradycardia and tachycardia respectively.

Fetal ECHO is a safe procedure and does not harm the mother and or the baby. However, it should be underlined that it is an examination that requires expertise and experience.

Who Should Have Fetal (ECO) Echocardiography Procedure?

Fetal ECHO should be performed on all pregnant women, as mentioned above, but especially on high-risk pregnant women for congenital heart diseases. We can list these risk groups as follows:

• Pregnant women with heart anomalies,

• Pregnant women with rheumatic diseases,

• Pregnant women exposed to teratogens during pregnancy,

• Multiple pregnancies,

• Pregnant women with chromosomal anomalies or genetic carriers,

• Pregnant women who have infections such as rubella and Parvovirus B19,

• Pregnant women whose baby has an anomaly involving another organ,

• Pregnant women who have used drugs that are definitely teratogenic, such as rethioic acid,

• Pregnancy of expectant mothers over 35 years of age,

• Adolescent pregnancies, that is, under 18 years of age,

• Pregnant women with abnormal double test, triple test, quadruple test or fetal DNA test results,

• Pregnant women with increased nuchal translucency,

• Diabetic pregnant women,

• Pregnant women who use substances (such as alcohol, cigarettes, heroin).

When Should Fetal (ECO) Echocardiography Be Performed?

Fetal ECHO is ideal to be performed twice during pregnancy. It is performed by a perinatologist both between the 11th and 14th weeks and between the 20th and 24th weeks. However, in high-risk pregnancies or in suspicious cases, fetal echocardiography can be performed every week starting from the 11th week.

For the screening, diagnosis and management of all fetal heart diseases, Prof. Dr. You can contact Ali Ekiz.


You can make your appointment with Perinatology (Risky Pregnancy) Specialist Prof. Dr. Ali Ekiz via the WhatsApp button.

Other Perinatology Topics

Contact us to get information about Perinatology (High-Risk Pregnancy)
Contact us to get information about Detailed Ultrasound
Contact us to get information aboutFetal Echocardiography
Contact us to get information about Genetic Screening Tests
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