Real-time three-dimensional foetal echocardiography using a new transabdominal xMATRIX array transducer.
Fetal echocardiography is the ultrasonic evaluation of the human fetal cardiovascular system. General antepartum obstetrical ultrasound has become a standard part of gestational care and is commonly used for the determination of fetal age, size, gender, or well-being and for the detection of congenital anomalies. A variety of maternal or fetal disorders may result in abnormality of the fetal cardiovascular system to a degree which demands evaluation at a level above and beyond that attainable with standard antepartum obstetrical ultrasound. In these circumstances, a fetal echocardiogram should be performed. Improved operator skill amongst physicians performing general antepartum obstetrical ultrasound, in combination with increased sensitivity of present day ultrasound systems, has resulted in improved detection of fetal cardiovascular abnormalities and increased requirements for more detailed evaluation. Congenital heart disease is the most common congenital anomaly found in the human. As the detection rates for congenital anomalies continue to increase, the demand for fetal echocardiography has grown. Accurate diagnosis of congenital heart disease via fetal echocardiography provides many benefits. It allows for a smooth transition between the preand post-natal states, with the opportunity to provide immediate care at birth, thereby avoiding the onset of hemodynamic compromise. Recent