Echogenic spot/light on heart — The Bump
March 2014 Moms

Echogenic spot/light on heart

I just had my anatomy/ gender ultrasound and we found out it was a boy :) yay, and the tech kept saying how great everything looked, but because he was positioned in a way that she couldn't get a great picture of the heart she told me I would have to come back again in a few weeks. Then this morning I get a call from the nurse saying that when the doc looked at the ultrasound pics it's looked like there was a light spot on the heart which may be a sign of downs, and that I would have to do a follow up ultrasound soon. I had my first look ultrasound/blood test and everything came back normal so for this to be happening I'm just freaking out. I will love this baby either way but is anyone else possible going thru this or has in the past and what should I expect?

Re: Echogenic spot/light on heart

  • ellajune2012ellajune2012
    250 Answers 2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary
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    edited October 2013
    There have been a few posts about this recently - I can't find them right now but I know others have had the same issue.

    I had this on mine, and the doctor's take was this: it's very common, even in normal babies. It does NOT affect heart function or development in any way. However, it "could" be a soft marker for Down Syndrome, so depending on the results of your bloodwork and age it might mean you have an elevated risk. I know how easy it is to panic when you hear this, because I certainly had my moment! But for example, based solely on my age, I have a 1/150 odds of a baby with Down. Because of this, I have 1/75 odds (my doctor just doubles the risk, but research is unclear as to how much the risk *actually* correlates to Down. As more and more people get higher level ultrasounds, more things like this will get picked up. So who knows how common it really is?). But even though that seems high, it's still less than 1.5% chance that the baby will be born with Down Syndrome.

    Did you get any 1st trimester screening done? That can also help put you at ease... though again, you're still only going to get odds and it could also go the other way and give you higher odds. I think I was told that an amnio would be the only 100% way to tell whether your baby has it or not, and I didn't feel that it was worth the risk of more invasive testing in my case, especially since my bloodwork came back okay.
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  • We had one, it is a soft marker for T21, yes. It is also extremely common and often outgrown in the 3rd trimester and it is NOT associated with congenital heart defects. Estimates are that 4-5% of healthy adults walking around today have one and will never know it. W had the Verifi (aka MaterniT21 and other brand names) test come back with no elevated risk at 12 weeks, so my OB said that we shouldn't think about the finding any more at all - which has totally been no problem to do *eyeroll*. She did say that if we hadn't already done it she would offer the Verifi test if we wanted additional T21 screening, but that with ONLY the echogenic focus as a finding she was very unconcerned. Were they able to visualize your baby's face? That was the other soft marker they looked (hard) for since by this point mouth shape/development can be an additional sign. I'd definitely want to talk to my OB if I were in your position, but overall I'd try not to worry - this is way more common than you probably think.

  • Ya I had my first look ultrasound and blood work @ 12 weeks and everything was fine. When the nurse called me she said since my test results came back "normal" my chances are 1:10,000. They made it seem like since the u/s tech was new that's why they wanted to do a follow up ultrasound since she couldn't get a clear or good enough pic of the heart chambers.
  • Yes, our son had this - we had another ultrasound with a specialist and she said it was basically nothing more than a 'freckle' as in - it is just there. Didn't effect him one bit! :)

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