Ultrasound - Knoxville,TN

Updated on May 30, 2009
A.R. asks from Knoxville, TN
24 answers

My sister had an ultrasound yesterday and is about 18 weeks pregnant with her first child. They told her they saw a "bright spot" on the baby's heart and it may put him at a higher risk for Down Syndrome but NOT to worry because he sees two or three a day like this who are perfectly normal. Why in the heck would he even say anything then? Has anyone else had this happen to them? It has me very concerned and I am sure she will worry the whole time she is pregnant now.

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So What Happened?

My sister gave birth to a perfect baby boy with out down syndrome. Of course I would love him no matter what anyhow.

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D.M.

answers from Nashville on

I just had this happen to me at my 20 week anomaly screening. They saw a bright spot too and said there was no other indications of anomalies associated with it. I did go to a follow-up ultra sound 3 weeks later and everything was fine. Babies all grow at different stages and develop at different times, so when something like that is seem with no other indications, then perhaps the baby just needs to develop that certain organ/part more.
I hope all is well and don't stress about it. The tech/Dr.. has to inform all patient's of any thing outside of "normal."

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L.P.

answers from Raleigh on

I had a positive AFP test with my daughter and the ultrasound came back inconclusive - basically she was an increased risk for downs. She was fine, but I worried the entire pregnancy. The only way to diagnose downs in the womb is through amnio. I chose not to do that because I was going to keep the baby regardless of health. Anyway, these tests are unreliable and somewhat meaningless. Dont give them too much credit.

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S.R.

answers from Lexington on

I agree they should not of said anything,I feel bad for her,Hopefully everything is fine and she don't worry herself sick!

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M.H.

answers from Chattanooga on

sometime the doctor has to be sure to look into the ultrasound and it take a few month to tell the different , I have never heard of this one ,if i want to know for sure I would want my baby be perfect healthy. MS

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E.M.

answers from Louisville on

hes covering his butt. if he doesnt say anything and the baby does have downs your sister could sue. tell her to have an amneo good luck

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L.W.

answers from Charlotte on

My story is not exactly the same as yours but I wanted to share it with you anyway...I hope you don't mind. When I was far enough along to get the quad screen (labwork), it came back positive for Downs Syndrome. I cried for 2 weeks, until they sent me for a specialized ultrasound with a perinatal doctor. They did the ultrasound and didn't find any other markers for downs syndrome..they still couldn't rule it out 100% and offered me an amniocentesis, but I declined it. I figured even if she had down syndrome, this was my baby and I would love her regardless. They could do an amnio on her to rule it out, if she wants to do that, but they may just wait until later on and see if this "bright spot" goes away. The amnio itself does come with risks. It does seem unfair that they said this to her. It is heart breaking to get news like this especially when they aren't sure. She will also have blood work done a little later into the pregnancy that will screen for downs syndrome (which is what I had done) and that may ease her mind also. Just don't put all your faith in the docs...they do know their job, but they don't know everything. My daughter was born perfectly happy and healthy...no down's syndrome.

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D.C.

answers from Raleigh on

Hi A.,

I had the same thing when I was pregnant with my second child. They sent me for a level two ultrasound and it ended up being nothing. Doctor's have to tell you all the possibilities, but it ends up scaring us more than anything else!

I second what the other moms said... ask your sister if it would matter what the outcome is... how does she feel about it either way? I opted for no in-depth screening (amnio and the other blood tests that look for Down's) because whether or not the test came back positive, I was still going to have and love my baby. Everyone's opinion differs...

Take care,

D.

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R.D.

answers from Jackson on

I think they have to say something to protect themselves from lawsuits. If he didn't say anything and the baby does have some problems when he is born then they could sue him for with-holding information on them. The dr didn't do it to scare them. He is just covering his tracks. I will pray for them and the baby.

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M.L.

answers from Nashville on

Hello A.,

When I read this, (They told her they saw a "bright spot" on the baby's heart and it may put him at a higher risk for Down Syndrome but NOT to worry) chills went all over me. Isn't our Mighty GOD amazing. He chose a bright light just like him to reveal himself to the DR. Our GOD is so amazing!!!! I am praising GOD as I write this for his amazing power in all things. (Phil 4:13 for your sister to ponder). GOD is the only one who can get her through this. It is so exciting to see GOD reveal himself for everyone to see. What a blessing thanks for sharing this beautiful story!! M.

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C.K.

answers from Charlotte on

This happened to me when I had my 3rd daughter. I was 35 years old. My doctor sent me to a perinatologist for my ultrasound so they could do a more advanced ultrasound...and extra measurements for Down's Syndrome. During the procedure, the doctor mentioned that the baby had ecogenic bowel. He explained that that meant the bowel showed up as a bright spot on the ultrasound...a sign of Down's. He said that the spot was so small that I shouldn't be alarmed. All of the measurements (leg and arm) were normal (these are measurements which also show Down's). Anyway, my daughter is FINE. We never had any further testing. Please know that, if she does have further tests, they are frequently wrong. I hope all goes well.

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K.H.

answers from Huntington on

I've known several people in this boat (my sister, included) and medical professionals are obligated to tell you when they see things that could potentially be problems. You say "THEY" told her. Her doc? The technician? Techs usually are supposed to keep their opinions to themselves since they are not legally trained to read these things and may not have accurate interpretations. If it were me, I would talk to the doctor and find what the options are. One option, of course, is to do nothing and assume the best, but there are further tests that can be done to rule out or confirm DS should she feel they are worth the risk.

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R.W.

answers from Nashville on

When I was pregnant with my daughter we experienced something similar to that except our doctor saw dark spots on our baby's skull. We were also told that it could lead to down syndrome but had seen more babies with this turn out normal. So tell your sister not to try and not worry so much. It's perfectly fine.

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A.C.

answers from Raleigh on

If she is 18 weeks pregnant she can get something called a 2nd trimester screening. It is a finger prick from the mom with an ultrasound and it is 90% accurate or something like that. It also screens for other chromosomal abnormalities. At least it would put her mind at ease.

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R.M.

answers from Nashville on

I don't want to just repeat what most everyone else said about false positives and worrying too much, but I do want to add one thing-

If the tech is the one who told your sister this, she needs to complain to the doctor. The techs ARE NOT ALLOWED to tell patients anything, they have to go tell the docs what they see. The techs don't know about any special instructions that the doctor knows, like "I don't want to know about that because it won't change the outcome of the pregnancy and I dont want to worry." They also don't have all the info on the patient. The doctor needs to know that the techs are overstepping thier bounds and causing unnecessary stress.

If it was the doctor, obviously, none of the above applies. I hope your sister is still able to enjoy her pregnancy, whether she decides to go ahead with additional screenings or not. And I hope everything turns out all right.

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J.J.

answers from Nashville on

I had this exact same thing happen to me and asked the same question. Apparently, they are required to tell you if they see something for liability purposes so that if something does come up later you can't go back and say that they didn't tell you.

Just to put your sister at ease, I had a healthy baby boy in December.

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T.S.

answers from Chattanooga on

Ok, so first let me say that ultrasounds are not 100% in diagnosing issues, especially chromisomal ones like Downs. If she is really concerned and it will affect her pregnancy, then I suggest having some genetic testing done...like amniocentisis. Here is a great article I found on the internet:

Using Ultrasound To Determine Down Syndrome
First and foremost, it is important for you to realize that an ultrasound cannot diagnose Down Syndrome. Why? Well, the answer to this is easy: Down Syndrome is a chromosome disorder and is impossible for ultrasound to determine any chromosomal dysfunction of any kind.

The only method which can be used to confirm Down Syndrome is through a genetic test such as amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling.

So, then why this article? Although an ultrasound cannot diagnose Down Syndrome, it can be used as a tool to look for signs that there may be some Down Syndrome features.

About 50% of babies which have Downs will show some symptoms on an ultrasound, and a trained sonographer should be able to pick up on these abnormalities. They would then take the necessary steps to complete other tests to confirm the presence of Downs Syndrome.

Ultrasound indicators which indicate Down Syndrome:
-An increased nuchal skin fold thickness. This is a measurement taken of the skin fold on the back of the neck.
-Heart defects.
-The "Double Bubble" sign. This indicates duodenal atresia, which is a gastrointestinal defect.
-Shortened femur and humerus measurements. These are the bones in the upper arm and the thigh.
-Hypoplasia of the middle phalanx of the fifth digit, which is a shortened bone in the middle of the pinky finger.
-The "Sandal Gap", which is a wide space between the first and second toe.
-Pyelectasis, a dilation of the collecting system in the kidneys.
-Echogenic bowel pattern or a "bright" appearance of the bowel on ultrasound

If one or more of these ‘markers’ are seen during an ultrasound exam it does not mean that your baby definitely has Down Syndrome. What it does mean is that there is definitely an increased chance that there may be Downs in one way or another, and further testing should be carried out as soon as possible.

Best wishes,
T.

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L.L.

answers from Nashville on

I will ask you the same thing that I asked my best friend when her OB asked if she wanted the triple screen because she was 34. She asked my opinion about having it done and I looked at her point blank and said, "Would it matter? Would you change your mind about having this baby if the test did come back that something was wrong?" God only gives us what we can handle, your sister has a very good chance that this baby is perfectly healthy. Would she do anything differently if she knew with 100% certainty that the baby is Downs? Also, ultrasound techs are just that TECHS, she needs to talk to her doctor about her concerns and also maybe suggest that this tech keep his mouth shut around patients.

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K.P.

answers from Memphis on

Doctors have to tell women the possibilities. It is a higher *risk* not a definitive diagnosis. Basically, with Down Syndrome, they have looked at babies with Down's and babies without, and have seen correlations between various physical factors in utero (like this, and the nuchal translucency, and other things) and have found that a higher rate of babies with Down Syndrome have X, Y, or Z than babies without -- but many babies with Down's don't have these physical evidences, either.

I go into this false-positive stuff in greater detail on this blog post: (http://womantowomancbe.wordpress.com/2008/10/27/down-synd...) and talk more about getting "the other side of the story" (the many positive things about babies with Down Syndrome, and not *only* the negatives, which is all she was told) here: (http://womantowomancbe.wordpress.com/2008/10/24/evidence-....

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G.M.

answers from Raleigh on

The dr is just covering his butt. If ---HUGE ***IF***--- the baby were to be born with DS, the dr doesn't want to get sued because he didn't provide all the information. I really would not worry about it.

My doctor said that there was a test i could do with an ultrasound to see if my baby had any chance of DS but that he would talk me out of it. He said that there is no reason to take that test unless i would get rid of the baby if he found somethin g suspicious. He said that no matter the findings, they would treat me just the same and i would go through pregnancy just the same as anyone else. He also said that those ultrasound tests showed about 66% postivie and out of that, there was a HUGE percent that was a false positive. So he said that there was no point worrying for the next 5 months.

Unfortunatley, she's already done that :) but you just have to think "what if it did happen, would i love my little one anyway?" i'm pretty sure the answer would be yes. and ther are SO many resources out there if that WAY OFF chance did occur. It's a possiblity for every mom, no matter what tests we take. That's the risk of getting pregnant and we all assume that risk.

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S.A.

answers from Raleigh on

The tech probably said something because most people would be mad if they found out after the fact that something was noticed but not mentioned. I know I'd be mad if I found out after the fact that an ultrasound tech noticed an abnormality and never mentioned it. I'd rather know than not know, so that I could start thinking about if I would need further testing. Your sister needs to talk to her OB. There are tests that can be done to detect Down's if she's that worried about it. Like the other mom said, would it change anything? Would she love her baby any less?

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S.W.

answers from Lexington on

I know that this is a very frightening position to be in and that very likely the baby is perfectly fine. I am sure that the only reason they mentioned it was to prepare her because the doctor may want to do more tests. She should definately talk to her doctor find information on her particular situation and seek God's light in this matter. Hopefully, your sister is a strong woman who will love this child regardless of their circumstances. As others have mentioned, while a child with down syndrome may have different abilities - many times they are a blessing to the lives of those they touch.

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A.B.

answers from Charlotte on

I had something similar happen to me. I was 25 when I had our first child. They also said they saw something on her heart and had me see a specialist. The specialist said that there was extra calcium on the heart. Nothing to big to worry about, but a possible sign of Down Syndrome. But being so young and our first child and no family history there was no need to worry at this point. We would have love her either way, but it does raise a bit of worry, so I understand. It's the doctor's responsibility to tell the patient about any and all problems that may arise. Better to inform the mom of everything, even if it's not the best of news. I wouldn't worry, things happen for a reason and the dr is just doing his job.

A. B

D.B.

answers from Memphis on

When I was pregnant with my 4th child, the doctor very hastily told me that my blood work showed I had a 1 in 510 chance of having a down's baby and then walked out of the room. I was shocked to say the least. I called the next day because I had broken out in hives and he apologized profusely and scheduled a very detailed sonogram (lasted about 45 minutes). He felt confident that she did not have it. He offered to do a amniocentesis but I refused, felt the danger did not outweigh the benefit.

So what I did was read, read, read as much about down's as I could in preparation for her birth. I knew that no matter what, I was going to keep this baby so I prepared for the worst and prayed for the best. She was born a perfectly healthy little girl.

He most likely told her to prepare her so in the event the baby is born with down's it wont come as such a shock. The expanded sonogram my doctor did, he measured her body parts very carefully because he told me that in down's babies their measurements are often off, for instance their head measurement may say 18 weeks but their leg measurement would say like 15 weeks.

Tell her to talk to her doctor very directly and ask for more confirmation. And also to read up on down's and be prepared. I have a best friend with a down's older brother (we grew up together) and such a sweet person he is. I am also of the belief that God gives those special children to those he knows will cherish them.

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C.L.

answers from Memphis on

I did not know my daughter had Down Syndrome when I was pregnant with her. We kinda knew something was wrong when we looked at her. They said they suspected it to be Down Syndrome but wouldn't say for sure until genetic testing came back. But let me say this, I am so very Blessed to have her. She is the Angel and lite of my life. I am so thankful God trusted me with her. She will be 21 years old in July and just graduated from high school. She has had some health problems in the past along with a heart surgery when she was 9 years old. She is doing very well now. I wouldn't change a thing about her. She is such a joy to be around and so loving to all. She is unconditional love no doubt. She knows no strangers either. So I have to watch her around others when we are out. She stays right with me tho and speaks to those around us. I have met some very nice people with her chatting to them. If I ever wanted to adopt a child it would be a Down Syndrome child. They are so special.
I have read some of the other responses and it seems to me that everyone is scared in some way of having a Down's child. I have no idea why. I know I never knew much about them when I had my daughter. But there is so many ways to find out more about them. Type in Down Syndrome in your browser and read from some of the websites. They have a National Down Syndrome web site as well. Then go to places that have Down's kids and talk to their parents. If they are like me they will tell you mostly good things about them. They only bad things will be the health issues and they are not all the same. Some have more and some have less. Down's children are nothing to be scared or afraid of. I know I would love to have more of them but that's me. I think they are the greatest.
You may get in touch with me if ya like at [email protected]____.com a great day, take care and God Bless ya.

C.

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