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Research shows ultrasound is reliable way to detect fetal heart problems in the womb

Story Date: Mon, 08 Jul 2013 17:05:00 EDT

A team of researchers from EVMS and Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters recently completed a study that demonstrates the reliability of fetal ultrasound in detecting major congenital heart disease early in pregnancy.

The results of the five-year study increase the need for scheduling early and detailed cardiac evaluations, says Elena Sinkovskaya, MD, PhD, primary investigator and an Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at EVMS.

“We were excited to find that the accuracy of prenatal cardiac screening was over 95.5 percent in our study,” Dr. Sinkovskaya says.

Dr. Sinkovskaya and her colleagues analyzed 245 high-risk pregnant patients with prenatal and postnatal ultrasounds. The quality of images provided by the echocardiograms was sufficient to allow for a detailed evaluation of the fetal heart in the large majority of the fetuses scanned.

Dr. Sinkovskaya presented the study results June 30 at the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE) 24th Annual Scientific Sessions at the Minneapolis Convention Center, Minneapolis, Minn. The ASE is the largest global organization for cardiovascular ultrasound imaging.