Fetal Ultrasound

The Fetal Heart Program utilizes fetal echocardiography for the diagnoses and specialized management of fetuses with congenital heart disease and/or congestive heart failure in utero. Using fetal ultrasound of the heart, defects can be detected as early as 16 to 18 weeks gestation, and in some cases, as early as 11-12 weeks gestation. This routine, painless test provides general information about the growth of your baby, and the structure and function of the baby's organs.

The test may be done using an abdominal or transvaginal ultrasound.

  • abdominal ultrasound
    In an abdominal ultrasound, gel is applied to the abdomen and the ultrasound transducer glides over the gel on the abdomen to create the image.
  • transvaginal ultrasound
    In a transvaginal ultrasound, a smaller ultrasound transducer is inserted into the vagina and rests against the back of the vagina to create an image. A transvaginal ultrasound produces a sharper image than abdominal ultrasound and is often used in early pregnancy.
Children's Team

Children's Team


Adre Du Plessis

Director, Fetal Medicine Institute
Division Chief, Fetal and Transitional Medicine
Children's Locations that Perform this Procedure

Children's Locations that Perform this Procedure

Treatment Service Locations

main hospital

Main Hospital

111 Michigan Avenue, NW
Washington, District of Columbia 20010

Fetal Heart Services

Tompkins-Martin Medical Plaza
1101 Sam Perry Blvd., Suite 319
Fredericksburg, Virginia 22401

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Our Stories

Our Stories

conjoined twins

Tyson and Tyler's Story

Before they had even entered the world, Children's National doctors had hatched a plan to safely deliver and then separate conjoined twins Tyson and Tyler.



Fetal Heart Program

Our heart care begins before babies are even born, in our dedicated Fetal Heart Program, where we diagnose and even treat fetal heart conditions.

The Fetal Medicine Institute

The Fetal Medicine Institute at Children’s National in Washington, DC, provides specialized care for babies during pregnancy, delivery and after birth.

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