Fetal Echocardiography Scan

What is Fetal Echocardiography?

Fetal echocardiography is a specialised area of fetal imaging that focuses on the structure and function of the fetal heart. A fetal echocardiography scan is also known as a fetal echocardiogram. It is a non-invasive test that uses ultrasound technology to assess the fetal heart and surrounding structures. It is typically performed during the second trimester of pregnancy, between 18 and 22 weeks, to evaluate the fetal heart for any structural abnormalities or functional issues.

Why is Fetal Echocardiography conducted?

Fetal echocardiography helps to analyse the fetal heart along with the surrounding structures. The technician or physician will look for any structural abnormalities or functional issues in the fetal heart, such as:

  • Septal defects: These are holes in the heart's walls that separate the heart's right and left sides.
  • Valve abnormalities: The fetal heart has four valves regulating blood flow through the heart. Abnormalities in these valves can affect the flow of blood and can lead to heart failure.
  • Cardiomyopathy is a condition in which the heart muscle is weakened and cannot pump blood effectively.
  • Cardiac arrhythmias: These are abnormal heart rhythms that can affect the flow of blood through the heart.

Who is qualified to perform a Fetal Echocardiography Scan?

A trained ultrasound technologist or a perinatologist can perform the fetal echocardiography scan. A perinatologist is a physician who specialises in the care of high-risk pregnancies. The procedure is usually performed in a specialised fetal imaging centre or at the hospital.

If you are an expectant mother, you will be asked to lie on an exam table and expose her abdomen. The physician will apply a gel to your abdomen to improve the transmission of sound waves, and a handheld transducer will be placed on the abdomen to produce the images. However, for the best and most accurate results, the physician should be experienced. If you also want your Fetal echocardiography Scan done by the experts, Apollo's experts are always here.

How long does it take to get a Fetal Echocardiography scan done?

The fetal echocardiography scan typically takes about 30 to 60 minutes. It is usually performed in real-time, allowing the technician or physician to move the transducer around to get a comprehensive view of the fetal heart. 

Risks related to Fetal Echocardiography

The risks related to Fetal Echocardiography are usually close to negligible. Hence, you do not have to worry about the risks as it is a safe and non-invasive procedure. The foetus does not get exposed to any radiation.

However, it is not always possible to obtain clear images of the fetal heart, especially if the foetus is in a difficult position or if the expectant mother has a lot of abdominal fat. In such cases, the technician or physician may recommend other tests, such as a fetal MRI, to get a clearer view of the fetal heart.

What to expect from the test?

If the fetal echocardiography scan reveals any abnormalities or functional issues in the fetal heart, then you and your healthcare provider can discuss the next steps. This may include further testing, such as fetal MRI or fetal cardiac catheterisation, to confirm the diagnosis and determine the appropriate course of treatment.

If the fetal echocardiography scan reveals a severe structural abnormality in the fetal heart, you can also consider terminating the pregnancy. However, this difficult and emotional decision requires careful consideration and support.

In some cases, the fetal echocardiography scan may also reveal issues that can be treated after the baby is born. In such cases, you and your healthcare provider can work with a pediatric cardiologist to develop a treatment plan for the baby after birth.


The fetal echocardiography scan is essential for evaluating the fetal heart and identifying any structural abnormalities or functional issues. It is a safe procedure. Moreover, it helps expectant mothers and their healthcare providers to make informed decisions about the pregnancy and the care of their baby after birth.

Request an appointment at Apollo Cradle, Bengaluru - Koramangala. Call 1860-500-1066 to book an appointment.

1. Why would a pregnant woman need a fetal echocardiography scan?

A fetal echocardiography scan helps identify various types of defects and abnormalities that may occur during the development of the fetus's heart.

2. Is there any risk related to a fetal echocardiography scan?

There is no risk related to fetal echocardiography scan that can harm the patient. However, sometimes echocardiography scans the main field due to excess fat.

3. Where can I go for a fetal echocardiography scan?

You can get a foetal echocardiography scan at any nearby Apollo Cradle, Koramangala. Dial 1860-500-1066 to book an appointment.

4. At which week is fetal echocardiography done?

A scan should be done between 18 to 22 weeks for the best results of fetal echocardiography.

5. Is a fetal echocardiography scan painful?

No, the fetal echocardiography scan is entirely painless. However, one may feel tickling during the scan.

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