Prenatal Perspectives Recommends

A Practival Guide to Fetal Echocardiography: Normal and Abnormal Hearts (3rd Edition)

Reem S. Abu-Rustum, MD

Fetal Echocardiography remains a most challenging yet critical skill to acquire in our quest to maximize the prenatal detection rate of congenital heart defects. To this end, there have been an increasing number of guidelines from various organizations across the globe as to what constitutes the required basic “screening” during fetal evaluation, and sonologists are constantly on the outlook for practical educational material.

From Abuhamad and Chaoui, two world-renowned experts in the USA and Europe, comes the third edition of the text “A Practical Guide to Fetal Echocardiography. Normal and Abnormal Hearts” (Wolters Kluwers 2016), available in both print and eBook versions. Within its 608 pages is a condensation of decades of expertise in every imaginable aspect of fetal echocardiography: from image acquisition and optimization, to view selection and interpretation, to workup and prognosis; the authors offer an armamentarium of tips and pearls in a most comprehensive practical manner to aid the sonologist, irrespective of the level of skill.

At first glance, and flipping through the pages, one appreciates the artistry in every beautifully labeled sonographic image, in each perfectly crafted pathological specimen, not to forget the vibrant schematics and summary tables adorning the pages, all of which culminate in summary “key points” at the end of each chapter.  

There are 33 chapters in total. Chapters 1-4 discuss the scope of the problem, international guidelines, embryology and genetics. Chapters 5-10 dissect the “anatomy of the scene” covering the main cardiac views employed in the examination of the fetal heart. Chapters 11-17 give an in-depth view of the fetal heart through the “lens” of 2D grey scale, color Doppler, pulsed Doppler and 3D/4D ultrasound. An overview of the fetal heart in early gestation, fetal cardiac function and measurements are also presented. Finally, chapters 18-33 provide an in depth overview of the various cardiac abnormalities.

This book shall, without the shadow of any doubt, prove to be the “reference” to all who are involved in imaging the developing fetal heart. It is an invaluable textbook that is a “must” on every medical shelf. It provides priceless guidance and expertise, available at one’s fingertips, when carried on a smart phone. Abuhamad and Chaoui’s brilliant styles and combined efforts shall undoubtedly aid in our comprehension of the complexities of the heart in order to improve the outcome of the future generations…