2nd Trimester

White spot on baby's heart has me worried.

I went today for an ultrasound (I am 21 weeks) and they noticed a small spot on my son's heart. My doctor is sending me for a more detailed utrasound to check it out. She said that 99% of the time it is nothing and that all of my other tests have been normal, so not to worry (yeah right).

Anyone else have similar ultrasound findings? Could use some words of encouragement.

Also, sometimes Google is NOT your friend -- found out online (my doctor didnt mention it) that sometimes spots can be a low indicator of Downs or a heart defect. Sad

Re: White spot on baby's heart has me worried.

  • I don't know anything about this, but T & P's for you and your LO! I hope everything turns out okay, and he is healthy!
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  • What you are describing is an Echogenic Intracardiac Focus, or EIF. (I am an ultrasound technologist)

    First of all, your OB is correct.  It is most often nothing to worry about, even though it sounds scary.  She is good to have another US to check it out just in case, but you shouldn't worry. 

    An EIF is (as you mention), what we call a "soft marker" of Down's.  However, before you worry--first of all your other tests you say came back normal...so this is most likely not an issue.  The reason it is a "soft Marker" is that before we ever even get concerned the criteria is that there must be 2 soft markers to really even make this a consideration.  In example, if they had found a EIF AND another soft marker, such as echogenic bowel.  It sounds as if that isn't the case with you. Since nothing else was found and your other tests were normal, the chance for Down's is basically nonexistant. Your NT scan, Maternity 21 or Quad screen are more accurate than one tiny "soft" marker on an otherwise normal US. :)

    Also, an EIF is not considered a heart defect.  It's more like a bright spot, and we aren't really sure what caused it or why it happens.

    I have seen EIF's in many patients who then show me (later) their beautiful, healthy babies.  2 other US techs I have worked with had babies with EIF and their babies are healthy and adorable too.

    GL with the US, and I hope everything else comes back good. HTH :)


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  • My son had this as well; he had two. I beleive it was called an ecogenic foci or ecogenic focus in the singular. My son is perfectly healthy and is turning two in two days :)

    Don't be too worried, it is true that kids with Down's Syndrome do have ecogenic foci more than the general population but that does not mean your baby has Down's. It is actually more accurate to say that a baby with Down's Syndrome is more likely to have an ecogenic focus than to say that a baby with an ecogenic focus has Down's Symdrome. The relatoinship isn't the same both ways... I hope that makes sense!

    I too had the more detailed ultrasound where they took a whole slew of measurements and while they can never guarantee 100% short of an amnioscentesis the Dr. felt sure my son was fine, and he is!

     Overall, I would not be too worried - if you have the other test results in your favor (as I did with my son) the chances are slim-to-none that anything is wrong. My son's two white spots turned out to be nothing.

     Best wishes!

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  • DS had an echogenic cardiac focus on his heart at 19w. My doctor and our genetic counselor (we were seeing a GC for another issue) were not concerned at all. Apparently these bright spots are very common. In the Asian population, something like 30% of fetuses have them. While I am not Asian, it helped me understand what a non-issue this is in the absence of any other risk factors. I asked our dr what the follow-up was and he said nothing. He said if this was the old days when he could withhold info, he wouldn't even mention the spot because it is *that* not concerning to him. His phrasing was weird, but I appreciated his sentiment. Because of another issue, I ended up getting a second anatomy scan at 26 weeks and they saw that the spot had already resolved itself. LO was born perfectly healthy.
  • kelnyckelnyc
    Eighth Anniversary 2500 Comments 250 Love Its Name Dropper

    We had two on our baby's heart as well, but awesome blood work and no other markers. We were told it is a calcium deposit and has NO EFFECT on the structure or function of the heart whatsoever, if it is not found to be linked to DS. We did the Verifi (like MaterniT21) blood test, just to be super-sure, and everything came back negative. 

    1 in 10 caucasian women (not that I know your race, but just as an example) show these bright spots, but the actual incidence of DS is MUCH, MUCH lower than that, so you can see that in most cases, it really, truly means nothing. HTH! 

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  • JVS311JVS311
    10 Comments Second Anniversary

    Wow ladies! Thank you so much for your responses. I feel relieved knowing it is a relatively common occurance. 

    I am trying to adopt my husband's strategy -- "Don't worry until there is definately something to worry about," but it is hard. My raging hormones dont help either!

    Y'all are the best!

  • JKS21JKS21
    500 Comments 25 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
    My husband had the same attitude of not worrying until we had a reason to... well we found out about the EIF and had to wait TWO weeks to go to the MFM ultrasound. At first I was very worried and upset...but time helped....and we went to the appointment earlier this month and the doctor who did the ultrasound said it isn't something to worry about...she sees it quite often. In fact, it happens in about 3% of healthy pregnancies...which in her profession doing what she does, I am sure she gets a lot. She kind of mentioned it was like a 'beauty mark' as in.. it is just there. We also had no other issues on the ultrasound, but they rechecked all of the measurements at that appt to be sure. I am at peace with it now. Good luck :) It helped having people on here talk to me about their experience, so I told myself I would do the same and give my story if I saw posts about this. To hopefully help someone else feel better about it!


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  • amb5353amb5353 member
    We had this. Our doctor wasn't overly concerned about it. She said that it normally resolves itself. 
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  • Things are probably completely fine. My son has the EIF and a choroid plexus cyst, and things are totally normal. 

    "Mais les yeux sont aveugles. Il faut chercher avec le coeur."
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  • JVS311JVS311
    10 Comments Second Anniversary

    My OB called today and my appointment with the maternal fetal specialist for the level 2 ultrasound is on Wednesday 5/30.

    Thoughts and prayers are much appreciated!

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