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Echogenic Focus (EIF): Definition, Causes, Remedy

What Is an Echogenic Focus?

In roughly 1 out of each 20 to 30 pregnancies, an echogenic focus or foci is found in a second-trimester ultrasound. These vibrant spots seen within the coronary heart are known as echogenic intracardiac foci (a number of) or an echogenic intracardiac focus (singular), which is usually shortened to EIF, a cardiac echogenic focus, or echogenic focus.

This situation is taken into account a traditional variation and usually doesn’t have an effect on the newborn’s coronary heart or its functioning. On ultrasound, there may be a number of vibrant spots discovered, often within the ventricles, which pump blood. It’s not a coronary heart defect and for almost all of cases through which this happens, it poses no threat to the fetus.

Whereas the EIF may disappear through the third trimester, many occasions it’s nonetheless current on later ultrasounds. Comply with-up imaging research aren’t sometimes really useful except different abnormalities are discovered on the ultrasound and/or the being pregnant is at increased threat for chromosomal anomalies. Actually, echogenic focus is present in 3% to five% of regular pregnancies.

Whereas discovering these vibrant spots within the coronary heart may appear scary, an echogenic focus is definitely a fairly frequent discovering on ultrasound, and most frequently, isn’t trigger for concern.

Signs

EIF causes no signs for the fetus or pregnant particular person. As famous above, this situation would not have an effect on the well being or operate of the newborn’s coronary heart.

Causes

The precise explanation for an EIF isn’t recognized. Nonetheless, it’s believed that the intense spot or spots present up as a result of there may be an extra of calcium in that space of the center muscle. On an ultrasound, areas with extra calcium have a tendency to look brighter. For instance, enamel present up brightly as properly.

An echogenic focus can happen in any being pregnant. Nonetheless, the charges of EIF in pregnant folks of Asian descent are considerably increased.

Do not forget that EIF isn’t dangerous to your child and it is nothing to really feel badly about. Furthermore, nothing you probably did or didn’t do precipitated the EIF.

Prognosis and Additional Testing

An echogenic focus by itself poses no well being threat to the fetus, and when the newborn is born, there aren’t any dangers to their well being or cardiac functioning because of an EIF. It’s thought of a variation of regular coronary heart anatomy and isn’t related to any short- or long-term well being issues.

Nonetheless, EIF could also be related to the next threat for chromosomal abnormalities, resembling Down syndrome (also referred to as trisomy 21), if different abnormalities are discovered on the ultrasound, significantly for pregnant folks of superior age or who produce other threat components. Because of this, if there may be an EIF, a extra detailed scan of the anatomy could also be carried out.

If an EIF is the one notable discovering on the ultrasound, it’s thought of an “remoted” discovering and nothing to fret about. Moreover, the hyperlink between EIF and chromosomal abnormalities, if any, remains to be unsure.

In case you are involved about Down syndrome or different attainable atypical occasions, discuss together with your obstetrician or a genetic counselor. Whereas there aren’t any established follow-up exams for an EIF, there are numerous prenatal exams which can be accessible to you, like amniocentesis. Your being pregnant care supplier can talk about the dangers and advantages of further testing with you and reply any questions you will have.

The genetic counselor can even go over choices for additional testing and reply any questions on screening versus diagnostic prenatal exams, and what numerous check outcomes may imply for the fetus. It’s additionally vital to keep in mind that prenatal testing isn’t good, and never all defects may be found whereas the newborn is in utero.

Remedy

No therapy is required for this situation. The echogenic focus might go away by itself or it might not, but it surely doesn’t have an effect on a baby’s cardiac operate so there is no such thing as a want for therapy and even follow-up testing to see whether it is nonetheless there.

A Phrase From Verywell

It may be scary and complicated if you hear that one thing has been discovered in your child’s ultrasound. Even when it’s thought of regular, this may be scary. Know that within the overwhelming majority of instances, an EIF is a benign anomaly. Discuss to your supplier about any lingering issues or questions you will have. Being pregnant, for all its joys, can even carry stressors—and that’s OK. Simply ensure you have folks to lean on and discuss with if you want some additional assist.

Verywell Household makes use of solely high-quality sources, together with peer-reviewed research, to assist the information inside our articles. Learn our editorial course of to be taught extra about how we fact-check and preserve our content material correct, dependable, and reliable.
  1. Hamdan MA, El Zoabi BA, Al Shamsi A, Bekdache GN, Chedid F. Fetal echogenic cardiac foci: Potential postnatal electrocardiographic follow-up. J Perinatol. 2013;33(4):268-70. doi:10.1038/jp.2011.113

  2. He M, Zhang Z, Hu T, Liu S. Chromosomal microarray evaluation for the detection of chromosome abnormalities in fetuses with echogenic intracardiac focus in ladies with out high-risk components. Drugs (Baltimore). 2020;99(5):e19014. doi:10.1097/MD.0000000000019014

  3. Kaiser Permanente. Echogenic Intracardiac Focus (EIF).

  4. Shanks AL, Odibo AO, Grey DL. Echogenic intracardiac foci: Related to elevated threat for fetal trisomy 21 or not?. J Ultrasound Med. 2009 Dec;28(12):1639-43. doi:10.7863/jum.2009.28.12.1639

  5. Carlson LM, Vora NL. Prenatal analysis: Screening and diagnostic instruments. Obstet Gynecol Clin North Am. 2017;44(2):245-256. doi:10.1016/j.ogc.2017.02.004


Further Studying


By Jaime R. Herndon, MS, MPH

Jaime Rochelle Herndon, MS, MPH, MFA, is a former author for Verywell Household protecting fertility, being pregnant, delivery, and parenting. 

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