Fetal Heart Anomalies
Fetal cardiac anomalies are the most common congenital anomalies. It is seen more common in expectant mothers with diabetes who use insulin. Especially if the expectant mother has infections such as rubella in the first 7-8 months of pregnancy, the risk of heart anomalies also increases.
Congenital heart anomalies:
- Hole in the heart,
- Congestion in the vein,
- Heart valve disorders,
- Insufficient development in the heart chambers,
- Heart rhythm problems,
- Heart anomalies occur due to problems in the lung vessels.
Many factors can cause fetal cardiac anomalies. The main reasons of it are chromosomal abnormalities, diabetes, alcohol and smoking during pregnancy.
Can Fetal Heart Anomalies Be Diagnosed In The Mother Womb?
It is possible to diagnose congenital cardiac anomalies in the womb. Fetal cardiac anomalies are diagnosed with detailed fetal ultrasonography traditionally performed at 18 and 23 weeks of pregnancy.
On the other hand, it is possible to diagnose heart defects by fetal echocardiography from the 11th week of pregnancy. Doppler application in fetal ECHO contributes considerably to the diagnosis since it shows blood flows and it is used in all Fetal ECHO examinations without exception.
However, it is possible to detect all heart diseases with Fetal ECHO because some heart diseases occur in the last weeks of pregnancy and some of them occur with the first breath of the baby after birth and the change in its heart dynamics.
Should Fetal Echo Be Done During Every Pregnancy?
Considering that fetal ECHO procedure is a part of detailed fetal ultrasonography, it should certainly be performed for all pregnant women in the risk group and as much as possible to other pregnant women.
Especially the expectant mothers with heart problems or those having family members with heart problems, people with diabetes, people with SLE (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus) disease, viral infection, excessive smoking and alcohol use, or expectant mothers who have been exposed to radiation, should undergo a Fetal ECHO procedure.
Treatment of cardiac anomalies detected in the mother’s womb may be possible in some cases. If the unborn baby has simpler cardiac anomalies, the problems can be recovered by starting treatment as soon as possible after birth.
In particular, heart valve stenosis or rhythm disorders can be treated in the womb. In more severe and incurable cardiac anomalies, termination of pregnancy may be in question.