Level II Ultrasound:
    The Fetal


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    Sonographic finding(s)

    Differential Diagnosis

       General:   Software:
       The Fetal Heart


    Cardiac Axis
    The cardiac axis describes the orientation of the apex of the heart within the thorax.
    Terms used to describe cardiac axis orientation:

    • Levocardia: The cardiac apex points to the left (normal)

    • Greater than 57 degrees of leftward axis deviation may be considered abnormal.
    • Mesocardia: The cardiac apex points to the midline
    • Dextrocardia: The cardiac apex points to the right
    Cardiac Positon
    Cardiac position describes the location of the heart within the thorax.
    Terms used to describe cardiac podition:
    • Levoposition: The heart is in the left thorax.
    • Dextroposition:The heart is in the right thorax.

       The Normal Heart

    • Axis and Position

    • The cardiac axis should normally intersect the midline at 45 degrees with the
      apex of the heart pointing to the left.
      Abnormal deviation of the cardiac axis is associated with congenital heart disease.
      The heart should be located in the left hemithorax.
      Abnormal cardiac position is associated with extracardiac malformations

       Congenital Heart Defects

       Pulmonary Defects
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    This page was last modified on: 11/30/2002