Fetal & Pediatric Echocardiology

Fetal Echocardiography is used to diagnose heart disease in an unborn baby. These ultrasound studies of the fetal heart can be performed on pregnant moms, particularly those at high-risk for having a child with a heart defect.

Who Is Most At Risk for Heart Defects?

Fetal echocardiography studies are typically conducted around the fourth month of gestation but can be performed as early as 14 weeks if necessary. The study identifies major heart problems that could require special care for the mother and fetus during the remainder of the pregnancy or at the time of delivery. Moms at a greater risk for having a baby with a heart defect may include:

  • Women with congenital heart defects
  • Women with uncontrolled diabetes
  • Moms who have already had a child with heart disease
  • Women who need to take certain medications during pregnancy

The fetus may be affected by any first degree relative, including the father, who may also have congenital heart defects. Talk to your obstetrician about your specific risks.

St. Joseph's Children's Heart Center of Excellence: Results You Can Trust

It is crucial that an experienced physician performs the evaluation and interpretation of the echocardiography results. At St. Joseph's Children's Hospital Heart Center of Excellence, our expert cardiologists and fetal echocardiography sonographers are among the most experienced in the nation. They have a wealth of experience accurately diagnosing and managing congenital heart disease in unborn babies using:

  • Advanced diagnostic equipment designed for in-depth analysis
  • Keen observation resulting from education, training and personal passion
  • Knowledge of fetal cardiac abnormalities and experience with successful outcomes

Our Fetal Echocardiography program and our cardiac non-invasive laboratory are fully accredited by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission for the Echocardiography Lab. The laboratory is one of the first of four pediatric echocardiography labs in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico to be recognized for its commitment to high quality patient care and its provision of excellence in diagnostic testing for complex congenital heart disease.

For more information about pediatric heart services at St. Joseph's Children's Hospital call: (813) 644-6679.

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