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    Fetal Cardiology

    When a family learns that their unborn child may have a cardiac defect, our multidisciplinary team steps in to care for the family through every stage—from diagnosis and delivery to surgery and follow-up care.

    Congenital heart disease is one of the most common birth defects worldwide, occurring in about 1 in 100 live births. Early diagnosis through ultrasound may allow in utero cardiac procedures, leading to a better outcome for the baby. Early detection also enables you and the medical team to plan for the delivery and develop a cardiac care plan in advance.

    Evaluations are conducted any time from 16 weeks gestation to term, ideally between 18 and 28 weeks gestation.

    Indications for Testing

    There are several health concerns that may cause your primary physician to refer you to Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU for a fetal echocardiogram.

    Maternal risk factors

    • Diabetes or other medical conditions
    • Certain medications taken during pregnancy
    • Exposure to certain viral infections

    Fetal concerns

    • Suspected heart defect or abnormal heart rhythm based on ultrasound
    • Suboptimal imaging of the heart
    • Problem in another organ system
    • Abnormal prenatal screening or amniocentesis results

    Family history concerns

    • Mother or father has a congenital heart condition
    • Previous child was diagnosed with a congenital heart condition

    Specialized Services

    The Fetal Cardiology Program provides specialized, comprehensive diagnostic and interventional cardiac care including:

    • Coordination of care with cardiothoracic surgery, critical care medicine, neonatal medicine, perinatal medicine and genetics
    • Education and counseling on diagnoses
    • Fetal echocardiography
    • Individualized cardiac care plans
    • Resource assistance from social work
    • Visits to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit

    Appointments and Location

    804-828-CHOR (2467)

    Physicians wishing to schedule a fetal cardiology consult may call (804) 628-HRTS (4787). Consults are also available at community hospitals and additional satellite locations.



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    For Appointments,
    Call 1.804.828.2467.

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