echogenic focus on anyone else's ultrasound? — The Bump
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echogenic focus on anyone else's ultrasound?

We got our 19 week ultrasound and Doc says our little girl has an "echogenic focus", which is another way of saying there's a white spot on her heart.  It might be a glitch of the ultrasound, it might be the scan picking up a tendon... but it is also a "soft marker" for down syndrome.

 EVERYTHING else on the scan was perfect - no other markers what-so-ever.

 From the research I've done, it seems that these show up in a LOT of ultrasounds and always amount to nothing.  If she had ANY OTHER marker, I might be concerned, but, right now I just feel like the doc wants me to run a whole bunch of bloodtests and other nonsense that aren't going to give us a difinitive answer, and whatever it is or isn't will most likely be gone by the next ultrasound.

I don't feel the need to test, as there is no family history of down syndrome, and I'm only 29.  My doc is not supportive of natural birth (we're in the process of finding a better fit), and I feel like she's just trying to spook us. 

Is anyone else going through this or been through this with past pregnancies?


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Re: echogenic focus on anyone else's ultrasound?

  • Yes!  LO had an echogenic focus as well.  We were told the same things...that it's a "soft-marker" for DS, but many perfectly "normal" babies have them as well.  It was unsettling, for sure, but I'm happy to report that all was well in the end.  I trust the same will be true for you!
    Childhood cancer (DH) + chemo + radiation = 0 sperm.
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  • kesryakesrya member

    We had this on our 19 week anatomy scan, and since we had already declined the standard genetic testings earlier in the pregnancy, we were not even aware of it until the u/s tech asked us on our 42 week biophysical profile if we ever had the additional genetic counseling for it.  I had no idea what she was talking about and freaked out for the next 3 days until I saw my midwife and she went over the results of the 19 week scan with me and explained in greater detail.

    Long story short - our baby boy was born with no problems, none zip, zilch - both the midwives and his pediatrician say there is no problem with his heart (and they are both aware of what to look for in regards to this bright spot), and clearly he doesn't have downs syndrome.

    Back when these first started showing up on u/s there was a higher rate of them on downs syndrome children, but as u/s technology has improved - the medical community is able to see these more often and so the correlation is pretty much no longer statistically significant.  In other words, just as many healthy babies have these as downs babies have these.  Without the presence of any of the other soft markers I would do no additional testing - and tell your natural birth unfriendly doctor to shove it for getting you all worked up over this. 

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  • atackatack member
    My 17 week ultrasound showed this and then I was ordered another at 20 weeks and it was still there.  I am going tomorrow actually for a growth scan, but I am going to ask if the white spot went away, yet.  I have no other markers for a Downs baby, so the chances are slim, but I still worry about it every now and then.  I just keep praying for a healthy baby girl and I'll pray yours is perfectly healthy, too.
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  • Yes, DS2 had it at the 20 week scan also. We had no other risk factors, and my MW offered to run more tests, but stressed it was most likely nothing. He was born perfectly healthy!

    Do what you want to do. And good luck finding a new provider!

    DS1 - Feb 2008

    DS2 - Oct 2010 (my VBAC baby!)

  • Our LO 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.
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