Fetal echocardiography is the name of the test used to diagnose cardiac conditions in the fetal stage. Cardiac defects are amongst the most common birth defects. Their diagnosis is important in the fetal stage as it might help provide an opportunity to plan and manage the baby as and when the baby is born. Not all pregnancies need to undergo fetal echo. Specific maternal and fetal conditions would indicate the need for this test
Amniocentesis (also referred to as amniotic fluid test or AFT) is a medical procedure used in prenatal diagnosis of chromosomal abnormalities and fetal infections, in which a small amount of amniotic fluid, which contains fetal tissues, is sampled from the amniotic sac surrounding a developing fetus, and then the fetal DNA is examined for genetic abnormalities. The most common reason to have an "amnio" is to determine whether a baby has certain genetic disorders or a chromosomal abnormality, such as Down syndrome. Amniocentesis can diagnose these problems in the womb. Amniocentesis is performed when a woman is between 16 and 18 weeks gestation. Women who choose to have this test are primarily those at increased risk for genetic and chromosomal problems, in part because the test is invasive and carries a small risk of miscarriage. This process can be used for prenatal sex discernment and hence this procedure has legal restrictions in some countries.
Sometimes called "chorionic villous sampling" (as "villous" is the adjectival form of the word "villus"), is a form of prenatal diagnosis to determine chromosomal or genetic disorders in the fetus. It entails sampling of the chorionic villus (placental tissue) and testing it for chromosomal abnormalities, usually with FISH or PCR. CVS usually takes place at 10–12 weeks' gestation, earlier than amniocentesis or percutaneous umbilical cord blood sampling. It is the preferred technique before 15 weeks.