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A 31-year-old member asked:

Since tof is congenital, why doesn't fetal ultrasound always find it?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Danae Steele
Maternal-Fetal Medicine 31 years experience
Heart defects: Tetralogy of fallot, a heart defect, can be difficult to diagnose prenatally. The heart is very small in a developing baby, and specific images must be obtained to make that diagnosis. If the baby is in a bad position, or the mother is obese, or the doctor doesn't have a lot of experience diagnosing heart defects in a fetus, tof can be missed.
Dr. Nikolaos Zacharias
Maternal-Fetal Medicine 26 years experience
Expertise required.: The usual views of the fetal heart (so-called 4-chamber heart) can be almost completely normal in tof, thereby rendering the most used screening method for detecting congenital heart defects useless (<1/5 detection rate). Experienced centers will obtain additional view of the great vessels and should be able to detect tof in >2/3 cases.

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Last updated Nov 7, 2014

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