Ultrasound Examinations

This is a detailed examination of the fetal heart in the womb, usually performed routinely between 20 and 23 weeks of gestation as part of a detailed ultrasound examination of the fetus: Cardiac anatomy, heart valves, heart muscle function and rhythm are examined. During the examination, color Doppler can be used to diagnose 80-90% of possible structural cardiac anomalies in the fetus. However, if a suspicious condition is detected in the fetus, fetal echocardiography can be performed at any week or period of pregnancy.

Diagnosis of Fetal Cardiac Anomalies in Pregnancy

Although fetal cardiac anomalies are usually diagnosed during a detailed fetal ultrasound examination at 18 to 23 weeks of gestation, fetal cardiac anomalies can be diagnosed as early as 11 to 14 weeks of gestation. However, it is not always possible to diagnose all structural cardiac anomalies with fetal echo, as some anomalies may not become apparent until the last weeks of gestation or at birth because of the first breaths and changing cardiac dynamics.

Conditions and Risk Factors in which Fetal Cardiac Examination is Especially Recommended

  • If the expectant mother has been diagnosed with a cardiac anomaly in previous pregnancies,
  • If the fetus has another organ anomaly,
  • If the expectant mother, her partner, or first-degree relatives have a congenital heart anomaly,
  • Identical twin pregnancies,
  • If the expectant mother has diabetes, metabolic disease or connective tissue disease,
  • If the expectant mother has abnormal antibodies (rheumatologic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and SLE),
  • If the expectant mother suffers from epilepsy,
  • If the expectant mother had an infection in the first weeks of pregnancy,
  • Pregnancies in which suspected fetal heart disease could not be ruled out on examination by the obstetrician-gynecologist.

While some congenital heart anomalies such as valvular stenosis or arrhythmias can be treated in utero, structural anomalies are usually treated in conjunction with pediatric cardiology and pediatric cardiac surgery to provide the best possible conditions for the baby.

Fetal Cardiac Anomalies

Fetal cardiac anomalies are the most common congenital anomalies, found in approximately 1% of pregnancies. They may occur alone or as part of a syndrome that may be accompanied by other anomalies. Fetal cardiac anomalies can occur for many reasons; chromosomal anomalies, poorly controlled diabetes with high blood sugar, substance and drug dependence during pregnancy, and infections such as rubella during pregnancy increase the risk of cardiac anomalies.

Congenital Cardiac Anomalies

  • It may consist of different anomalies such as follows:
  • Holes in various places and the internal cavity of the heart,
  • Structural developmental disorders or blockage of blood vessels,
  • Disorders such as underdevelopment or overdevelopment of the ventricles,
  • Disorders of the heart valves,
  • Cardiac arrhythmias;

Cardiac anomalies due to developmental disorders of the lungs and other vessels.


Prof. Dr. Ali Gedikbaşı
Contact Information

+90 545 213 5140 - Appointment

Fulya Terrace Center 1
Kat 8 Daire 31,
Hakkı Yeten Caddesi No 11,
Fulya-Şişli, İstanbul

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