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Worrying results 20 wk scan

(9 Posts)
Worried71 Wed 20-Jun-07 05:32:26

I had my 20 wk scan this week. Was all excited and things were going well till the woman doing it told me there is possibly a problem. There are calcium deposits in one of the ventricles of the heart, it's called echocardiac foci (or something like that) and it is possibly an indicator for Down's Syndrome.

Woman doing very scan was verfy unclear, didn't mention DS, just said "in many cases it means nothing" in a tone that made it clear that sometimes it does mean something. We googled it as soon as we got home and read about 20 websites about it, it seems to increase the risk of the baby having DS but not sure by how much - some studies say not at all, some studies say risk is increased by 4 times, another said 1% of foetuses with this will have DS. So varying results.

My 12 week nuchal fold test and my blood test put me at a pretty low risk (1 in 2000 and something) so this news has come as a huge shock to us and I was a mess last night. I am 36, so I know that increases my risk too.

I know life with a DS child need not be the end of the world but seeing the report with "Possible foetal abnormality" written on it just tore me apart. I can't bear to think that anything is not perfect with my baby.

I am going for a much more detailed scan with a specialist, hopefully within 48 hours and at the latest early next week.

Has anyone else out there had a similar result?

katelyle Wed 20-Jun-07 06:45:07

We had this with ds. I was much older than you and had a much higher "risk factor" from the nuchal scan. In our case, they saw a calcium deposit in his heart at 20 weeks, they called it a "golfball" and told us that it was a strong indicator for Down"s. Like you, we googled and were even more confused and worried, but by the next scan it had gone and ds is fine. Horribly worrying, but I hope this is encouraging. I'll be thinking about you and keeping everything crossed for you - I remember so clearly how I felt.

katelyle Wed 20-Jun-07 22:32:19

Any news, Worried?

AnnainNZ Thu 21-Jun-07 04:03:18

No news yet. (I have changedn my nickname back to original one - not sure why I changed it really). Still waiting for the hospital to get back to us with an appointment for scan with specialist.

Everything I've read has suggested it is a weak or "soft" marker for Downs but you were told it's a strong indication - so I'm not sure how worried I should be. Hopefully will get scan appt soon and can just get it over with. My dr said if hospital hadn't got back to me by Fri pm to phone her and she would phone them and give them grief about it.Feeling calmer about it than I was, not much I can do really.

katelyle Thu 21-Jun-07 05:57:54

I was told it was a strong marker at the original scan (maybe it was my age that made them say that - I was 41) but as you said, all the research I did indicated that it wasn't - and it went away. I wasn't offered any more detailed scans, just an amnio, which I refused.
Hope you hear soon.

eidsvold Thu 21-Jun-07 06:59:07

had that with dd2 - at 20 weeks - we already had a dd with down syndrome and I was told like you it increases your risk by 4 times.
Dd2 was not born with down syndrome.

However - we were also told that more and more of these deposits are being found during scans due to the equipment becoming more and more hi tech - and more often than not in themselves mean nothing.

It is a very very soft marker - unlike my dd1 who had a heart defect diagnosed in utero and that heart defect is a 'hard' marker. Had she been born without ds with that marker - very very rare.

So apparently the rate of detection of echogenic focii is high - rate of babes going on to have down syndrome is very low.

There are so many other markers that she could have found for down syndrome and if any of those were present along with the focii then I would be more concerned.

fwiw - having a child with down syndrome is not the end of the world - just the beginning of a whole new chapter of your life where you will learn lessons from babes and children that you never thought possible and you will meet amazing people who are just an inspiration.

Most importantly you will have a child who just happens to have down syndrome.... they are not defined by that condition it is just a part of who they are.

There was another thread on this ages ago - will see if I can find it for you.

I was 36 when pregnant and having dd2. I have since had dd3 at 38 and nothing was picked up on her scan.

AnnainNZ Thu 21-Jun-07 07:13:22

thanks eidsvold. since i started this thread I have done a search on MN for this and found a couple of other threads about it.

i didn't mean to imply that a child with DS would be the end of my world, this baby is very very wanted and of course I love her whatever happens. I have a nephew with autism and he has enriched our lives hugely, though it's not always been easy for his mum and dad.

I think im just feeling so shocked as after low risk nuchal fold and blood tests i thought it was all plain sailing. Guess having kids is never plain sailing!

skirmish Thu 21-Jun-07 07:17:00

had a friend who was told same thing at scan - they went for a private one and everything was fine. It's the waiting that causes the worry. (she was 31 btw)

congrats on pg, i'm sure everything will be fine

skinnycat Thu 21-Jun-07 13:26:22

I was told that my 20 week scan had detected echogenic foci in our baby's heart and choroid plexus cysts in our baby's brain. Like you worried71, this came totally out of the blue, as my nuchal was reassuring - 1/1500. I didn't have the triple test as my health authority don't offer it routinely.

After the scan, the sonographer advised me to have the quadruple test on the basis that the scan findings plus my age (I'm 35) put my baby at a "higher" risk of DS. I got extremely mixed messages from the sonographer who managed to make the findings sound really serious and really not serious at the same time!

Again, my quadruple test results came back fine - 1/11,000 risk of DS. I also had a further more detailed scan with the consultant at 21 weeks who told me that the cysts had resolved themselves but that the echogenic foci were still there.

The consultant couldn't find any other markers hard or soft for DS or any other issue and I wasn't offered further testing. The consultant was reassuring at the 2nd scan and wrote in my maternity notes that "the risk of foetal abnormality remains low"

After many sleepless nights and a lot of tears and anxiety my partner and I decided that we wouldn't undergo invasive testing based on these findings alone, even if the hospital had offered it. We decided that looking at the whole picture, we only have the same risk factor that is there is any pregnancy.

I am now trying to enjoy the rest of my pregnancy and look forward to our baby arriving in October. Hope you find the detailed scan reassuring and that you get a chance to discuss the findings with your consultant - I found this put my mind at rest a bit.

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