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Benefit of four chamber heart view on 20th week of pregnancy

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2004
Answered : 1721 Questions
What exactly do do obstetricians look at when they review the 4 chamber heart view on the 20 week ultrasound? If they image is not clear on this image is a repeat ultrasound necessary in a low risk pregnancy?
Posted Fri, 20 Apr 2012 in X-ray, Lab tests and Scans
Answered by Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar 1 hour later

Thank for your query,

As part of the congenital anomaly scan,which is done routinely nowadays,heart development can be viewed to determine if there is any anomaly in the heart.The basic things that we look at is whether there are 4 chanbers present,2 atria above and 2 ventricles below,normal opening and closing of the valves and in high end machines even the blood vessles can be seen to make sure that blood flow is normal.These are the basic criteria.If any thing wrong is detected then the parents are informed immediately.In some cases,the proper 4 chambered heart cannot be seen well.This can be due to many factors like resolution problems in the machines,less amniotic fluid or most commonly due to an un- cooperative fetus.Sometimes it takes hours for the fetus to change position so you may be called for a follow up scan later.
Although there is no hard and fast rule that have to have the ultrasound,its best advised that you do.
Its always better to pick up problems prenatally.Since you had 2 pre term deliveries before,it would be my advice that you do have the scan as a precautionary measure.
Hope that your queries were addressed.


Disclaimer: The Expert’s advice is provided for general informational purposes only and SHOULD NOT be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice, as a complete assessment of an individual has not taken place. Please consult your nearest physician before acting on it. The advice is not valid for medico-legal purposes also.
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Follow-up: Benefit of four chamber heart view on 20th week of pregnancy 8 hours later
So if an ob would not be able to visualize all four chambers with a uniform ventricular septum or be able to determine cardiac axis based on the images retained by the sonographer would this warrant another ultrasound scan or possibly a fetal echo?
Answered by Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar 12 hours later
This would warrant another routine anomaly scan because ventricular septal defect is one of the most common anomalies of the heart in newborns.I would suggest you go for the follow up scan.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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