The Fetal Heart Program at Children’s National Medical Center offers innovative and state-of-the-art care. With advancing technologies, imaging of the fetus has improved substantially in the past 5 years. With new ultrasound equipment that has very high resolution and techniques such as transvaginal ultrasound, the heart may be imaged as early as 11-12 weeks gestation. The pictures that can be obtained are limited, but in most cases it is anticipated that major heart abnormalities will be identified. This service is used as an adjunct to the standard fetal echocardiogram that is done at 18-20 weeks, though seeing the heart at this early stage may be extremely helpful to select families with an understanding that the diagnosis will need to be confirmed later in the pregnancy.
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Our heart care begins before babies are even born, in our dedicated Fetal Heart Program, where we diagnose and even treat fetal heart conditions.
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Children’s National Health System tests blood oxygen levels in newborns to detect congenital heart disease.
Our heart team performs hundreds of cardiac catheterization procedures a year, treating patients of all ages, including those with complex heart conditions.
At Children’s National we recognize the need for early heart care screening and intervention for cancer patients. We were the first in the region to create a pediatric Cardio-Oncology Program dedicated to the heart care of cancer patients.
Routine transthoracic echocardiography is the most common test used in children, fetuses, and newborns to diagnose or rule out heart disease or to follow children already diagnosed with a heart problem.