The M-mode echocardiogram can be obtained in the developing human fetus from around the 16th week of gestation until term. Errors in interpretation of the M-mode echocardiogram can be avoided by concurrent two dimensional fetal cardiac examination. The pattern of motion of the mitral, tricuspid, aortic, and pulmonary valves and ventricular wall motion can be studied. Motion of the foramen ovale flap, which is characteristic in fetal life, can also be observed. Using the M-mode tracing, measurement data for six variables were made and growth charts constructed. The variables recorded were septal and left ventricular wall thickness, right and left ventricular internal dimension in diastole, aortic root dimension, and left atrial internal dimension. The measurements were made in normal pregnancies where the fetal heart was structurally normal. Confidence limits for each measurement were derived for gestational ages between 16 and 39 weeks.
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