Shadow on heart!?

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-02-2012
Shadow on heart!?
Tue, 12-04-2012 - 11:40am

Today I got a call from a nurse at my doctors office saying my ultrasound showed a "shadow" on the babys heart and that I needed to go see a fetal heart specialist... I am officially freaking out!! She told me this could be a marker of downs syndrome, but because all of my other tests for downs came back completely normal theres a rare chance that could be what it is. When I asked what other problems this could signify I didnt really get an answer, since shes a nurse and cant really tell me much.  I cant find anything online about any other things this could be besides down and I am so nervous. :(. Has anyone else had this and ended up being nothing? I'm waiting for the call back of when my specialist and level II ultrasound will be this week..... in the meantime freaking out. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-18-2010
Tue, 12-04-2012 - 2:08pm

I have no experience with this. Just wanted to say I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Hope they get you in ASAP.


iVillage Member
Registered: 05-01-2012
Tue, 12-04-2012 - 5:30pm

I had a similar issue. We went to a perinatal specialist and they found a "spot" on her heart they said could be a marker for downs. Then the next time they were like "oh we're not worried about that anymore, now let's freak out about these swollen brain ventricles" - it was a horrible and terrifying experience and they basically made my pregnancy a nightmare. In the end, they told me nothing useful, I had about a million ultrasounds and I finally got so mad at them (they could never make appointments on time and one time a doctor up and left while we were waiting for an hour and a half!) - so we finally switched perinatal specialists. They did a full scan and what do you know? Everything came up perfect. That was at nearly 35 weeks. Now, the baby is still not here yet, and there's a remote chance the new doc could've missed something, but I doubt it. I really feel like my little one is healthy and those nutty doctors scared the crap out of us to keep us coming back (they pocket $600 from the insurance company everytime we go in and we went in about 7 times - and they would've kept us coming back weekly until delivery!). Anyway, my point is, please try not to freak out. My doctors told us that it's very, very hard to know exactly what they're seeing on these scans and a "marker" for downs in no way means she has downs. All it means is that they took a panel of people and saw that marker more often on downs babies than they saw it on healthy babies so therefore it became a "marker". If you already passed the downs screening then that's a good sign too. Oh, and I should mention I flat out refused the amnio they wanted to do on me and now I am so glad I did. No way was I going to chance losing this baby over something I would never terminate her for anyway. We're 36 weeks today and I'll keep you posted when she's born if you like. Also please don't hesitate to change specialists if you don't like something they are doing in the slightest. I wish I would've changed sooner, it would've saved me so much heartache.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-02-2012
Tue, 12-04-2012 - 9:25pm

Thank you for your support and advice!  I have an appointment tuesday morning with the specialist for a level II ultrasound.  From what I have heard she is extremely thorough, so hopefully she will be a big help.  My nuchal translucency ultrasound and tests all came back great and all other measurements came back great too, plus my age puts me at a very low risk.  Im worried about everything, but I'm not too concerned with downs because of all my other tests which makes me worry about the other possibilities.  The nurse didnt give me ANY info of ANYTHING else it could possibly be, and not knowing kills me.  Either way I already love my baby and nothing could change that, I just want what we all want- a happy healthy baby.  Hearing any bad news that could make life difficult for my little one scares me so much.  Thank you for sharing your experience and it makes me feel better to know it hasnt been an issue since. 

Community Leader
Registered: 01-22-2010
Wed, 12-05-2012 - 2:38am

Sorry you're goin thru this, I hope like Jen they don't find anythin. Try not to stress too much, easier said than done I know, but there's currently nothin to stress about until you've had your u/s. We'll be thinkin about you. KUP

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-13-2011
Wed, 12-05-2012 - 3:48pm
i've heard that babies with shadows on their hearts in ultrasounds usually are born normal and healthy. i haven't done any research on it myself, but one of the ladies in first time expecting moms had the same news... maybe check her (Dina) posts there?? Hope everything turns out normal for you and your LO!


Expecting #1 (a boy!) on January 16, 2013