Natural history of echogenic foci within ventricles of the fetal heart

B. M. Petrikovsky, M. Challenger, L. J. Wyse

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67 Scopus citations


Echogenic foci within the fetal heart have been reported in association with cardiac tumors and chromosomal abnormalities. They have been observed also as a normal variant of cardiac development. The goal of this study was to analyze the frequency, distribution and natural history of echogenic foci within the fetal heart. A total of 1139 patients referred for targeted ultrasound were studied. Patients with positive findings (presence of the echogenic foci) were referred for serial fetal echocardiographic examinations at 26–28 weeks and 34–36 weeks of pregnancy. Neonatal follow‐up examinations were performed within the first 3 months of life in 27 cases. Ventricular echogenic foci were seen in 3.6% of fetuses. The locations of the echogenic foci were as follows: left ventricle, 92.8%; right ventricle, 4.8%; both ventricles, 2.4%. All fetuses had a normal karyotype. Echogenic foci remained present in all infants who underwent echocardiographic examination within the first 3 months of life. Echogenic intracardiac foci probably represent a normal variant of the development of papillary muscles and chordae tendinae.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-94
Number of pages3
JournalUltrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Feb 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • chordae tendinae
  • echogenic foci
  • fetal echocardiography


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