Pulsed Doppler echocardiography (PDE) has proven value in the examination of the infant or child with known or suspected congenital heart disease. In order to assess how PDE might be useful in the evaluation of the infant in utero, we reviewed our experience with this technique used in combination with both cross-sectional and M-mode echocardiography. Where previous examinations had suggested some abnormality or where there was a risk factor for congenital heart disease, we performed PDE examinations on the cardiovascular system of 36 infants in utero ranging in gestational age from 20-39 weeks (mean 32 weeks). PDE of the fetal heart was found to be valuable in three areas: (1) quantitation of hemodynamics, (2) characterization of cardiac rhythm, and (3) identification of certain congenital cardiovascular structural anomalies.
Birth defects encompass structural and functional alterations that occur during embryonic or fetal development and are present since birth. The cause may be genetic, environmental or unknown and can result in physical and/or mental impairment. Here is the latest research on birth defects.