Fetal Echocardiography scan

A Fetal Echocardiography scan is a specialised ultrasound test performed to assess the structure and function of a fetus' heart. This non-invasive procedure diagnoses potential congenital heart defects or abnormalities in the unborn child. It offers detailed information about the baby's heart rate, rhythm, size, valves, and other structures. A fetal echocardiography scan is widely considered safe, with minimal associated risks and discomfort to the mother and baby. An important part of prenatal care, it can reveal vital insights into the health of the unborn baby's heart.

What is the screening test?

Fetal echocardiography is an ultrasound scan that produces detailed images of a baby's heart, showing its size and structure. It is used to diagnose congenital heart defects or other fetal abnormalities during pregnancy. The test is typically performed between 18 and 22 weeks of gestation and uses sound waves to create a two-dimensional image of the baby's heart on a video monitor. The images are recorded for further analysis and interpretation by a paediatric cardiologist. Fetal echocardiography can give parents more information about their unborn child's health, allowing them to make informed decisions about their pregnancy care.

What are the different types of screening tests?

There are various types of fetal echocardiography scans. These include a targeted scan, which focuses on particular areas of the heart; an extended scan to examine the entire heart and surrounding structures; a biophysical profile scan, which assesses the baby's movement, breathing, and amniotic fluid levels; and a four-dimensional (4D) scan that uses ultrasound technology to create 3D images of the fetus. Additionally, Doppler scans measure blood flow through the umbilical cord or placenta, while cardiac MRI scans provide detailed images of the heart's structure and function.

What Symptoms Suggest That You May Require the Screening Test?

Symptoms that may indicate the need for a fetal echocardiography include an enlarged heart, abnormal blood flow in the heart, problems with the baby's heartbeat or rhythm, and a murmur. Other signs may include fluid buildup around the baby's heart or lungs, blockage of the baby's major vessels, or missing heart parts. It can also be recommended if the mother has a family history of congenital heart disease.

When would a doctor suggest undergoing the screening test?

Patients may be advised to undergo a fetal echocardiography scan if they are at risk of a congenital heart defect or if the doctor or midwife has identified a potential issue during an ultrasound. Pregnant women with a family history of heart conditions are often recommended to have the scan. The scan is sometimes recommended due to slow fetal growth or abnormal results from other tests, such as nuchal translucency. Doctors may also advise it for those who experience pregnancy complications such as pre-eclampsia.

What Should I Expect from the Screening Test?

Fetal echocardiography is a scan that uses sound waves to create images of a fetus's heart. It can detect any structural defects or problems with the heart's size, shape, and function, as well as identify any potential issues with the fetus's blood vessels. Expect clear images of the heart’s structure, rhythm, and key details like blood flow and valve function. The scan typically takes 20–30 minutes and can be performed in any trimester of pregnancy. The results are generally available within a few days.'


A fetal echocardiography scan is an important diagnostic tool to detect fetal cardiac abnormalities during pregnancy. The scan results provide valuable information to the physicians and allow them to make informed decisions about the care and management of the mother and baby. The procedure carries minimal risks and has proven safe for both mother and child. In conclusion, fetal echocardiography is a crucial test for evaluating heart health before birth, enabling healthcare professionals to identify potential issues early on and provide appropriate interventions for better patient outcomes.

Request an appointment at Apollo Cradle, DELHI-NCR - Chirag Enclave. Call 1860-500-1066 to book an appointment.

1. What is a fetal echocardiography scan?

A fetal echocardiography scan is an ultrasound examination of the baby's heart, which uses sound waves to create images of the heart and its structures.

2. When is a fetal echocardiography scan performed?

A fetal echocardiography scan is usually performed between 18 and 22 weeks of pregnancy, depending on the individual situation.

3. How can a fetal echocardiography scan help assess my baby's health?

A fetal echocardiography scan can detect congenital heart defects, provide information about how the heart chambers and valves are developing, and measure blood flow through the chambers and valves of the heart.

4. Are there any risks associated with a foetal echocardiography scan?

Fetal echocardiography scans are considered safe for both mother and baby and do not carry any known risks or side effects.

5. How long does it take to get the results from a foetal echocardiography scan?

The results from a fetal echocardiography scan are usually available within one week after the exam.

Our Doctors

Book an Appointment




Pregnancy Calculator