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Which is the best time for one to undergo a foetal echo test?

Q: Could you tell me the best time during pregnancy to get a foetal echo test to rule out foetal congenital cardiac defect. Is foetal echo done by an ultrasonologist or a cardiologist? Please clarify.

A:Foetal echocardiography refers to a detailed evaluation of the heart of the unborn baby. It can be carried out anytime after 13 weeks of pregnancy. It's accuracy is maximum at 22-26 weeks of pregnancy. However, since this period is beyond the outer limit at which a pregnancy can be aborted, fetal echocardiography is currently being performed extensively at 18-20 weeks of pregnancy. There are no rules on who should perform the examination. It takes appropriate training, experience and technology. It is currently being performed equally effectively by radiologists, cardiologists, pediatric cardiologists, gynaecologists and specialists in fetal medicine.

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