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A 32-year-old female asked:

My maternal fetal doctor found calcium on my baby's heart valve in utero. he said it doesn't mean anything... how can it not mean anything?

3 doctor answers10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Nicholas Nomicos
A Verified Doctoranswered
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Too early: Without more detail, it sounds like an ultrasound showed what appeared to be calcification on a fetal heart valve. The likelihood is that it will resolve by the time of birth. Ultrasound relies on density and echo character which can sometimes be misleading. Unless there are other problems, watchful waiting is the recommendation. A little extra TLC for your baby sounds like a good thing.
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Dr. Danae Steele
Maternal-Fetal Medicine 33 years experience
It doesn't!: What your doctor probably saw is a a bright spot, an "echogenic focus" in the baby's heart. We think these are probably calcium deposits. They do not seem to have any effect on heart function. They are one of a large number of minor abnormalities that can signal an increased risk of Down syndrome in a baby, but usually only if there is more than one abnormality.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Marilynn Frederiksen
Maternal-Fetal Medicine 49 years experience
Certain ethnic groups have these echogenic foci more commonly than others. Multiple echogenic foci, with some on the right and left side of the heart are associated about 3% of the time with Down Syndrome.
Apr 12, 2012
Dr. Carol Major
Obstetrics and Gynecology 38 years experience
Echogenic focus : A calcium deposit seen on a fetal heart valve is called an intracardiac echogenic focus. It is a small calcification that is on the tendons that open and close the heart valves. It is present in 3-5% of all fetuses. It can be an associated soft marker for chromosome abnormalities. If there are no other birth defects and your prenatal screening tests are normal, then you should not worry.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Last updated Apr 4, 2016


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