Hi--I read somewhere that now that fetal heart beat can be detected
as early as 6 weeks LMP (due to vaginal ultrasound, it is not as predictive
of a positive outsome as it was when it wasn't detected until later in the
first trimester. Do you know anything about this?
Improved technology allows us to image milestones at an earlier stage. The milestone of "hearing the fetal heart" with a fetoscope (that old fashion stethescope that the obstetrician put on their head) occurred between 16 and 24 weeks. Electronic stethescopes moved that time back to 10-14 weeks. Abdominal ultrasound moved the date to 8 weeks. Trasvaginal ultrasonography has made detection possible at or shortly before 6 weeks.
Positive fetal heart motion carries up to 90% likelihood of a continuing pregnancy when detected by transvaginal ultrasound. Transabdominal ultrasound at 8 weeks carries a 92-95% likelihood for a continuing pregnancy.
Keywords: fetal heart motion, pregnancy outcome
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