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Q&A: Spot on baby's heart?

At my last doctor's visit, she told me that on my last ultrasound, there was a bright spot on my baby's heart and that it wasn't a murmur or a hole, it was a chromosonal thing with a really long name that I can't remember? She referred us to a specialist. She said not to worry, and that she sees it all the time. What could she be talking about? -- vherfurth1

Re: At my last doctor's visit, she told me that on my last ultrasound, there was a bright spot on my baby's heart and that it wasn't a murmur or a hole, it was a chromosonal thing with a really long name that I can't remember? She referred us to a specialist. She said not to worry, and that she sees it all the time. What could she be talking about? -- vherfurth1

The Bump Expert

What you describe sounds like an echogenic cardiac focus. On ultrasound, it looks like a bright spot in the muscle of one of the heart valves. In and of itself, it will not cause the baby any problems; it is not a heart defect and does appear to increase the baby's risk of having a heart defect. It is a common finding in normal babies. But, it may very mildly increase the risk that the fetus has Down Syndrome.

The first step is to see if there are any other ultrasound markers for Down Syndrome. As long as this is an isolated finding, the risk of Down Syndrome is increased only slightly -- between 1.8 and 5-fold over your age-related or calculated risk (based on whatever screening test for Down Syndrome your doctor performed). As long as you are less than 35 years old and your screening tests and ultrasounds are normal, I generally do not recommend an amniocentesis. Of course, if you have already had a normal amniocentesis, this finding is nothing to worry about.

Dr. Ashley Roman

re: Q: Spot on Baby's Heart?

my dr informed DH and I of this exact thing @ our 19w appt... she said not to worry.. but did refer us for another u/s.. i did some research and being that I am not high risk I'm praying everything is clear.. I was so happy when i came on and saw that this is something a lot of moms experience... thanks Nest!!!

MrsGrady |

re: Q: Spot on Baby's Heart?

My 18 week ultrasound found the same thing. My doctor didn't seem too worried about it either. There were no other markers for Down Syndrome and the baby looked totally fine otherwise. It definitely freaked me out, though. No one wants to hear something like that about their baby. I'm praying that she is born totally normal and healthy.

cakibs |

re: Q: Spot on Baby's Heart?

We had this same finding at our 18 week u/s. I completely freaked out and immediately thought of the worst! My quad screen came back normal, but we are still going in for another u/s next week. It does help a lot knowing there are others going through the same thing. Since this finding, we have talked to many people who either had children with this same finding or knew of someone who had a child with this...all came out perfectly normal and healthy :) But, like others pointed out, it is difficult to hear that something *could* be wrong with your baby.

mommajd28 |

re: Q: Spot on baby's heart?

I also got the same findings on my ultrasound this yesterday. I cried all morning. I'm glad to hear there are others going through the same thing. Someone mentioned that they are going to do another ultrasound? What are they going to look for? I did the blood screening and will ge tthe results next week. I'm not going to get an amnio so they said that I wont find out if the baby is affected until it's born.

tammy3 |

re: Q: Spot on baby's heart?

I was told that there were multiple echogenic foci on my little guy's heart. I was really freaked out b/c my nuchal translucency and blood tests had all come back normal w/ a chance of down's syndrome being about 1 in 40,000. I knew I couldn't go the next 20 weeks stressing out about the possiblity, so I had an amnio that was performed by a doc who does about 1000 per year. Luckily everything came back normal and the finding turned out to be completely benign. The whole experience was pretty unsettling though.

jb902 |

re: Q: Spot on baby's heart?

We had an u/s this past Tuesday and our little boy had what is called pyelectasis which is fluid build-up in the ureters leading from the kidney to the bladder. It was mild though. Our doc is sending us to a specialist to have another u/s just to get more exact measurements. This is also a possible indication of DS but I didn't have the screening done so we don't know our risk level. I am young though (27) and neither me nor my husband have a history of DS in our families. I think the best thing is just to stay calm. I will love my baby no matter what and people with DS can lead happy lives. They may have challenges but that doesn't mean life won't be good for them or for you. I have known a few people with DS and they are so joyful. They truly live life to the fullest and aren't hindered in the same way some of us are. They really reach out and accept people for who they are. So no matter what just stay calm and trust God. This is why I didn't take the test. All it does is cause uneccessary worry and pain.

lilkik |

Q&A: Spot on baby's heart?

I'm glad you asked this question. My first trimester blood tests & ultrasound came back very low risk (1 in 10,000), but our ultrasound at 22 wks did highlight brightspots in the heart. Our doctor said it does mildly increase the baby's risk to Down Syndrome. The only testing options our hospital will offer at this point is amnio, which carries a miscarriage risk of 1 in 350 (per our doctor), so I don't think we are going to get an amnio test done. This positive factor came so late in our pregnancy all roads lead to baby at this point. Our doctor is mostly neutral on the test; she doesn't feel it's imperative. Since we are so close to the point of viability, our doctor is concerned about delaying the test- if that's what we want. So now I'm trying to find some peace in not knowing. The risk for us per the blood test was low, but the soft indicator makes me very worried. I always feel most comfortable having all of the facts, but in this case it seems knowing would actually cause more risk for the baby and me.

thyr4 |