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early detection of fetal heart

  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?
Dear Lisa:
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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