Comparison of single versus multiple echogenic foci in the fetal heart regarding risk of aneuploidy

Dena Towner, Eugenio O Gerscovich, Brian B. Chiong, Laila Rhee-Morris, John P McGahan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate whether multiple echogenic cardiac foci (ECF) are associated with an increased risk of fetal trisomy 21 in our patient population. Methods: During a span of 38 months, all women found to have an ECF on obstetric sonography were identified as study patients and grouped into single- and multiple-ECF groups. Age- and race-matched patients were identified as a control group. Fetal anatomic sonographic examinations were assessed for other markers of aneuploidy and major abnormalities. The baseline risk for trisomy 21 was assessed by maternal serum screening or age alone if no serum screening had been performed. Trisomy 21 was assessed by amniocentesis or clinically at birth. Both univariate and multivariate analyses were used to assess for associations with trisomy 21. Results. Six of 71 patients (8.5%) with multiple ECF and 1 of 171 patients (0.6%) with a single ECF had trisomy 21. One of 242 control patients (0.4%) had trisomy 21. Logistic regression found multiple ECF (P <.008), the presence of a major finding or multiple minor findings (P =.0012), and a baseline risk for trisomy 21 of greater than 1 in 100 (P =.003) as independent associations with trisomy 21. Conclusions: Our results suggest that finding multiple ECF is a stronger predictor of trisomy 21 than what is described for a single ECF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1061-1067
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Ultrasound in Medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2010


  • Echogenic cardiac focus
  • Fetal aneuploidy
  • Fetal heart
  • Prenatal diagnosis
  • Sonography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Medicine(all)


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