Types of Congenital Heart Disorders
Heart problems that may be found during prenatal care include:
- Arch hypoplasia
- Atrial septal defect
- Atrioventricular septal defect
- Hypoplastic left heart disorder
- Pulmonic stenosis
- Tetralogy of Fallot
- Total anomalous pulmonary venous return
- Truncus arteriosus
- Transposition of the great arteries
- Ventricular septal defect
Advanced Fetal Echocardiography
Your doctor may refer you for fetal echocardiography if:
- There is a family history of congenital heart disease.
- You have taken certain medications that could cause congenital heart disease.
- Your fetus has a genetic abnormality.
- You have consumed alcohol or used drugs during pregnancy.
- You have diabetes, phenylketonuria, or a connective tissue disease, or you had rubella (German measles) during the pregnancy.
The optimal time for a fetal echocardiograph is between the 19th and 24th week of pregnancy. It can be performed earlier, but the small size of the fetus makes it more challenging to get a good image of the heart. A pediatric cardiologist performs the ultrasound.
If we detect a heart defect, the cardiologist who performed the fetal echocardiograph immediately begins coordinating your care. That physician works closely with a surgical team — if surgery is necessary — and other specialists, including neonatologists. From the moment of diagnosis until your baby's birth, you and your family receive extensive counseling so you understand each step of the treatment process. In addition, specialists in maternal-fetal medicine, neonatology, cardiology, and pediatric heart surgery meet monthly to review patients who are expected to deliver babies with congenital heart problems within the next few months to ensure that everyone is prepared for your child's birth and is aware of the details of the treatment.