2nd Trimester

20 Week U/S Panic-Echo Focus

Just wanted to share my experience with others who may be going through a similar situation. I searched for a board on here talking about this issue and they were all old/closed so I thought I'd put a new one up. When we went for our 20 week u/s we were told there was a spot on the heart (called echo focus) which can be a "soft indicator" for down syndrome. I panicked...all I had to hear was "heart" & "downs" and I went into a tailspin of overthinking. I ended up seeing a specialist for a level 2 u/s and was told the spot that had been found in my original u/s was nothing more than some muscle tissue (completely normal) and not an echo focus at all. Apparently, with the updated technology these days things like echo focii are becoming much more common findings and most of the time end up being nothing OR are an echo focus but do not indicate down syndrome. Anybody else have this come up? I wish someone would have explained to me how common of a finding this is and how little rarely this type of finding actually indicates downs before I lost my marbles!

Re: 20 Week U/S Panic-Echo Focus

  • One of my co-workers was told she had the same spot, and her daughter was born without Downs. She was scared as well, but I suppose doctors do need to prepare you for what may occur.
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  • I wouldn't worry. I have my ultrasound in two weeks and pray all is well.
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  • I am going through the same situation. I too panicked but my doctor and the doctor at the ultrasound center reassured me that I have nothing to worry about and its common and it should resolve itself in the 3rd trimester. I didn't do the elective testing for downs either so I was freaked out that maybe I should have. I am getting another ultrasound at 27 weeks to look at it again and hopefully its gone. For the first time google didn't scare me and actually confirmed what the doctor said.
  • They found one on our LO heart. We go on Monday to maternal fetal medicine for a level 2 u/s. We have been told that it's just the muscle in the heart forming like yours. We were also told that it happens in about 4% of pregnancys and goes away in almost all cases. 

    Ive also had some bleeding off and on the whole pregnancy. So thats part of why we are going to maternal fetal medicine.  

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  • image UMTERPGURL:
    I am going through the same situation. I too panicked but my doctor and the doctor at the ultrasound center reassured me that I have nothing to worry about and its common and it should resolve itself in the 3rd trimester. I didn't do the elective testing for downs either so I was freaked out that maybe I should have. I am getting another ultrasound at 27 weeks to look at it again and hopefully its gone. For the first time google didn't scare me and actually confirmed what the doctor said.

     I also skipped out on the quad-screen test b/c I'm 25 and have no family history of any CF or Trist21. That was another reason I panicked so much. I will say it was kind of nice having the 2nd level U/S done. Mainly because they look at the baby in so much more detail so you can be reassured about any other problems the 20 week u/s could have missed and also because we got to see our little man again :)

  • Also, they mentioned that unless you have another marker then DS is very unlikely. Is the level II ultrasound the same as the anatomy scan? Bc thats when I found mine out. It was like 40 minutes of the tech taking pics and measurements and they said other than the soft marker everything was perfect. I am just trying to keep positive and pray that everything is ok.
  • image UMTERPGURL:
    Also, they mentioned that unless you have another marker then DS is very unlikely. Is the level II ultrasound the same as the anatomy scan? Bc thats when I found mine out. It was like 40 minutes of the tech taking pics and measurements and they said other than the soft marker everything was perfect. I am just trying to keep positive and pray that everything is ok.

     

    They told me that as well (need 2 markers for a higher risk for DS). Also, 2 markers does not mean 100% that it is DS so stay positive, I'm sure everything will be fine! I'm not sure if 2nd level u/s and antatomy scan are the same but it was about 40 mins of a u/s tech taking detailed shots of the baby (particularly the heart since that is where they thought our echo focus was). They also did a lot more measuring and some 3D images. I know they especially looked for other indicators (femur length, hand creases, nasal bone development, toe measurements/placement, etc) but nothing was out of the ordinary.

  • JKS21JKS21
    500 Comments 25 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
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    We went through this...and had a level II, which the doctor told us it was sort of like a 'beauty mark' as in, it is just there....and she sees it quite often in her office (since she is high risk)...put my mind at ease, and we got some great 4d pictures. 

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  • When we had one with DS, the OB was very clear with us that these are such a non-issue that he wished he could just withhold the info because it is that non-concerning. It was odd phrasing, but reassuring. Also, something like 30% of Asian fetuses show EIFs. Such frequency is another indicator that they are  no big deal in most cases--it is something where the ultrasound technology is getting ahead of what we actually know about human development.
  • ACOOKACOOK
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    My DH and I were told that our DD had a spot on her heart and her brain. We didn't even get to hear it from the doc, a nurse called to check with us about genetic counseling since we had two soft markers. Imagine our surprise as we are getting the news in Babies R Us parking lot over the Bluetooth! We had a cardiologist give us an more in depth u/s at 36 weeks and everything checked out fine. Our little lady was/is perfectly healthy! Just wondering now if LO#2 is going to have the same thing. 
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