Isolated fetal hyperechogenic intracardiac focus: A benign sonographic finding or a marker of chromosomal abnormalities?

F. Mileto, F. Ventriglia, G. Piacentini, E. Batti, R. D'agostino, C. Cosimo, B. Leonardi, A. Giancotti, V. Colloridi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: determination with fetal echocardiography of the third level whether an isolated hyperechogenic intracardiac focus should be considered a benign sonographic finding or a marker of chromosomal abnormalities. Methods: during a period of 8 years, 113 pregnant women underwent a third level echocardiographic evaluation because of the report of a single or multiple hyperechogenic image in one or either ventricles during fetal sonographic evaluation. We performed a post-natal echocardiographic follow-up in 70% of cases; other cases were contacted by phone. Results: among 933 pregnant women in the study group, 113 fetuses (12.2%) had an echogenic intracardiac focus localized in the left ventricle in 101 cases (89.4%), in the right ventricle in 9 cases (8%), in both ventricles in 3 cases (2.6%). It was referred to a false tendon extending from the ventricular wall or a papillary muscle to the interventricular septum in most cases; in the others it was referred to a hyperechogenity of cordae tendinae of the mitral valve or of the marginal septae trabecula. In only two cases was a small interventricular muscular septal defect associated and in three cases there were arrhythmias. Only one case showed a 14-21 traslocation. The post-natal echocardiography confirmed these reports. In any case, even in those contacted by phone, chromosomal abnormalities were associated; even the fetus with genetical traslocation 14-21 was a phenotypically normal newborn. Conclusion: our data confirm the benignity of the sonographic finding of an isolated hyperechogenic focus in one or both ventricles and no association with chromosomal abnormalities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)144-148
Number of pages5
JournalItalian Journal of Gynaecology and Obstetrics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • False tendon
  • Golf ball
  • Hyperechogenic intracardiac focus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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