Pediatric Heart Expert Forum
pregnancy - fetus mild heart chamber enlargement
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Questions in this forum are answered by pediatric cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons and anesthesiologists from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. This forum is for questions and support about pediatric heart problems, symptoms and topics such as heart murmurs, palpitations, fainting, chest pain, congenital heart defects (including management and intervention), fetal cardiology, adult congenital cardiology, arrhythmias and pre-participation athletic screening.

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pregnancy - fetus mild heart chamber enlargement

Dear Doctor,

My wife is 37weeks pregnant and had her ultrasound scan done couple of days back, the doctor said that there is a mild enlargement in one of the heart chamber of the baby and said nothing to worry about although after delivery he asked us to get the pediatrician do a echo test. We are very worried about this especially so late in pregnancy as till now they did not mention anything of this sort during the earlier ultrasounds.

is this a cause for concern or will this be ok by the time she delivers the baby.

please reply a.s.ap to alleviate our concerns.
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Dear Macvin,

Without seeing the study that was performed, I have no ability to tell you whether this will be okay, or not.  I also don’t know if this study was performed by an obstetrician or by a fetal cardiologist.  Finally, I don’t know which chamber is involved, and whether the rest of the heart is normal, or not.  Mild chamber dilation can be a benign finding, or it can be a subtle indicator of more serious disease.  Obstetricians often perform a simple four-chamber view evaluation of the heart, which can frequently miss a significant amount of cardiac pathology.  As well, depending on the person performing the study, it may not be that one of the chambers is large, but that the corresponding one on the other side is too small.  Therefore, at this point, my recommendation is that your wife should have a fetal echocardiogram performed by a fetal cardiologist at an experienced center to evaluate all of your baby’s cardiac anatomy.   That way, a large majority of questions can be answered and, if there is something potentially life-threatening that is found, it can be caught prior to delivery.
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