From the first days of life, the baby is closely watched by doctors of various fields. Especially on the condition and work of the heart. In most cases, ultrasound of the heart of the newborn is prescribed for babies already in the maternity hospital. This study helps to identify congenital malformations and assess the degree of development of the child.
The first ultrasound study
In the absence of visible abnormalities, ultrasound is prescribed to small patients at the age of 45-60 days. Mandatory in this case is neurosonography or brain research. As a rule, during the examination, ultrasound of the abdominal cavity, kidneys, internal organs and joints is performed. In other words, the first ultrasound helps to assess the condition of the whole baby's body. Based on this, pediatricians decide on the need for treatment or prevention of a particular disease.
Ultrasound of the heart is an important study. According to its results, defects are identified that can be life-threatening to the patient. Such a pathology requires urgent intervention. If the doctor has not prescribed an ultrasound examination of the heart for the child, you can undergo an examination in the clinic yourself and then make an appointment with a cardiologist for a consultation.
The first study is carried out in the hospital and at the age of one and a half months. You can go through it again a year, but this is on condition that deviations from the norm were not detected earlier. Further studies are carried out as necessary, before operations, and if the child plans to engage in a sports section.
Indications for the procedure
In most cases, the doctor, upon examination of the patient, conducts auscultation of the heart. If noises are detected during the examination, an ultrasound of the heart is mandatory. But regardless of the opinion of the doctors, parents should be able to independently determine when they need to visit a cardiologist and undergo an examination.
The recommendations of cardiologists come down to the fact that parents should carefully monitor the baby’s behavior and listen to his complaints. If you find that there is trembling above the left hypochondrium, you need to see a doctor. Normally, fluctuations in a small heart are not visible to the eye.
Complaints of the baby about discomfort in the heart, stitching pains, as well as heart palpitations are considered an indication for ultrasound.
The behavior of the baby is also considered indicative. Children should suckle vigorously. If they refuse to breast, suck sluggishly and not willingly, you need to see a pediatrician. If during the examination you will not find problems with attachment to the chest, then the doctor will refer you to an ultrasound scan. You can identify heart pathology by a characteristic symptom - cyanosis around the lips when screaming or sucking .-
Echocardiography is indicated for children who have constantly cold hands and feet, they freeze for no apparent reason, quickly get tired and sweat a lot. Also, their growth does not always correspond to age. The same goes for weight .-
There are other indications for ultrasound. Some children get colds 6-8 times a year. This is already considered a cause for suspicion of diseases of the cardiovascular system. In parallel with ultrasound, an x-ray of the chest is sometimes prescribed, allowing you to assess the condition of the lungs and heart, as well as the ratio of their work.
Procedure progress and preparation
Ultrasound examination of the heart is a completely painless procedure that has no contraindications. In this regard, the identification of pathology is carried out at any age. The baby is laid on the couch. The heart area is lubricated with gel for better sensor contact.
An ultrasound device quickly reads the received pulses. Due to this, the result is not distorted even if the child is talking, fidgeting or moving during the examination.
The sensor generates an ultrasonic wave that reaches the tissues and is reflected. The wavelength depends on the density of the tissues. Through the sensor, the pulse is transmitted to the computer. The study is carried out in different ranges. There are various methods for such diagnostics with obtaining a two-dimensional or three-dimensional image of an organ.
No special preparation for ultrasound is required. The duration of the procedure takes no more than 15 minutes. At the end of the procedure, the doctor will record all the necessary data. Some devices allow you to print on-site photos of the heart. Thanks to this, the cardiologist in the office during the appointment will be able to compare the features of the pulse, the thickness of the walls of the heart and their contractility with the result of the ECG.
When is ultrasound indicated?
The main indications for ultrasound are:
- congenital heart defects
- violation of the closure of the interventricular septum
- underdevelopment of the mitral and aortic valve
Ultrasound helps to detect pathology of the development of the heart in the baby even during the pregnancy of the mother.
Decoding ultrasound of the baby's heart
During the study, the following are evaluated: the thickness of the walls of the heart, the size of the chambers, the condition of the partitions and valves. It is also possible to evaluate blood flow velocity, heart rate and completeness of blood ejection.
Since each age has its own norms and tolerances, it is not worth comparing the results of an ultrasound scan performed by a child at the age of one year with the results of a similar diagnosis at 5 years of age. They will be different, and that's fine .-
How is an ultrasound of the heart performed for a newborn baby, see the video about this procedure .-
Ultrasound examination of the heart
If your child has already undergone an ultrasound examination, share your impressions and observations in the comments at the bottom of the page. -Attention! The information presented in the article is for guidance only. Materials of the article do not call for independent treatment. Only a qualified doctor can make a diagnosis and give recommendations for treatment based on the individual characteristics of a particular patient.