Directly at our clinic, we offer specialized ultrasound examinations to identify possible congenital heart defects as well as any serious malformations of the fetus.
In the Prenatal Ultrasound Diagnosis Center, you will receive professional care from top specialists – namely from Czech cardiologist MUDr. Jan Marek, Ph.D., FESC who works at the Great Ormond Street Hospital for children in London as well as his colleague MUDr. Viktor Tomek, lead physician of echocardiography at the Motol University Hospital.
How common are congenital heart defects?
Congenital heart defects are relatively common. Namely, the number stands at 7 children out of a thousand live births. “Approximately one third of these defects are life-threatening and serious in nature. However, disorders of the heart rhythm can be treated prior to the birth of the baby. Everything can then be prepared to make sure that the mother is able to give birth under ideal conditions as well as a suitable environment with the team ready to assist her” says MUDr. Jan Marek.
What can we offer at the Prenatal Ultrasound Diagnosis Center?
– Specialized ultrasound examinations of the fetus from the 18th week of gestation to rule out:
- Congenital heart defects,
- Vascular system anomalies,
- Fetal circulatory system disorders (fetal-placental circulation),
- Heart rhythm disorders (arrhythmia).
– A standard part of the examination also includes the biometric analysis of the fetus as well as a comprehensive and detailed ultrasound examination to rule out any further major structural deformations of the chest, diaphragm, central nervous system and the spine, urinary system, orofacial region, limbs and more.
When is a specialized prenatal ultrasound examination performed?
- When risk factors are present
An examination is recommended by a gynecologist or a geneticist or can be requested by a pregnant woman herself based on known complications in the family or previous/current pregnancy difficulties.
- As a screening examination (for prevention)
This is not limited to needing a recommendation from a doctor. It can be based on a recommendation from a gynecologist as well as the woman’s own initiative. It is a preventive examination to rule out any congenital defects in a normal pregnancy without any known risk factors.
- When the ultrasound finding are unclear or unreliable after a routine examination by a gynecologist.
Specialized ultrasound examinations are internationally recommended when the following risk factors are present:
- Abnormal biochemical screening (usually a basic triple test covering alpha-fetoprotein, human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) and estriol) – especially to reduce the possible risk of chromosomal aberrations in deciding on the sampling of amniotic fluid (amniocentesis)
- Abnormal ultrasound screening during the first trimester (for example thickening behind the neck of the fetus – so called nuchal translucency)
- The presence of congenital heart defects and other developmental defects in the family
- Spontaneous fetal deaths or stillbirths from previous pregnancies
- Mother being older than 35 – especially to reduce the possible risk of chromosomal aberrations in deciding on the sampling of amniotic fluid (amniocentesis)
- Diabetes in expecting mothers or other chronic or congenital diseases of the pregnant woman
- Exposure to radiation and other teratogens – including the usage of toxic medication, drugs, etc.
- Viral infections during the first trimester of pregnancy
- Sterility treatments
- Congenital malformations and chromosomal aberrations of the fetus confirmed by a different center to extend on the diagnosis prior to deciding on the fate of the pregnancy
Who can undergo the examination at CMC and what does it look like?
We examine both clients of our gynecologists as well as other pregnant women who are not treated by us. If the woman is not a client of CMC, it is best to come to the examination with a report from the treating doctor. You can of course arrange an examination without a medical recommendation on your own.
The examination at the Prenatal Ultrasound Diagnosis Center takes 20 minutes, is non-invasive and is carried out by using a specialized ultrasound device.
Results are known to the expecting mother/parents immediately following the examination.
Follow-up care at leading medical centers
If the examination finds treatable birth defects, our center can arrange (in cooperation with the treating doctor) the birth to take place at a specialized medical facility (so called in-utero transport) with the option of immediate treatment of the newborn including the possibility of carrying out the most complicated surgical procedures. This approach significantly increases the probability of successful treatment. Transporting a baby that has been born and is not well right after birth to a specialized center can be very risk and can cause the result of an otherwise successful surgery.
In some cases, it is possible to begin treatment of the unborn baby prior to birth. With some defects (for example life-threatening heart rhythm disorders), it is possible to intervene medically before birth and therefore save the child without any complications.
To book your visit to the Prenatal Ultrasound Diagnosis Center please call + 420 235 360 133. Information about the price of the examination is available through our call center.