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Calcium deposits on baby's heart in utero

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
My sister called me this morning bauling. I could barely understand her other than something about the baby. I grabbed the kids, hopped in the car and went to her house. We get to her house and my sister is sobbing uncontrollably. After holding her for a few minutes she finally starts to talk a bit.

She had her ultrasound last week and then a check up today. She's 22 weeks. The doctor told her that there are calcium deposits on the baby's heart. Head measurements were fine, femur measurements fine, facial features fine, all other organs fine. Just the calcium deposits. The doctor then proceeds to tell her that the calcium deposits are a sign of down syndrome and there is a possibility her baby might be born with it. My sister asked what tests should be done then and the doctor said "oh we will just wait and do another ultrasound at 30 weeks". Then the doc sent my sister on her merry old way.

My sisters baby has ONE marker for down syndrome. Can they really tell because of a calcium deposit on the heart and NO other markers that the baby has down syndrome? The more I read online the more I see that it's common for a fetus to have the calcium deposits.

Any advice for her?
post #2 of 9
Advice? Get a new doctor that actually has a heart.

Okay, sorry, I just had to write that. I'm sorry to say I have no experience with this and I just ache for the fear and uncertainty your sis is feeling right now. It's a GREAT sign that all other measurements are normal. If it were me I'd just be making myself sick with online research. I also believe I'd be making an appointment with a different doctor, call to have the ultrasound results sent over and see what someone else has to say.
post #3 of 9
with my 2nd baby the ultrasound tech saw a white spot in his heart and said the same thing, that it was a marker for downs. It was a calcium deposit, I worried for oh a second and then did some research. He turned out perfectly fine, is now 5 years old and as healthy and wild as can be.

If there were not any other markers I really don't think your sis should stress about this. Did she have a triple/quad blood screen done? These often have a high false positive result but chances are if her baby truly has downs, it would have came up then. She can request a level II ultrasound where they will look over baby a lot more thoroughly to ease her mind.
post #4 of 9
I am assuming they saw an ecogenic focus (bright spot) on the heart. It is considered to be a soft marker for trisomy 21, although for most babies it is a variant and resolves.

This does not mean that the baby definitely has a trisomy, but it is also not entirely "normal" and therefore the result did need to be discussed with her and what it might indicate. For only one soft marker in the presence of an other wise normal scan an amnio is usually not recommended. Follow-up is a repeat sono around 28 weeks.

I'm sorry that the information was delivered in a manner that wasn't very clear. Please reassure her that most ecogenic foci (whether on the brain, heart, or bowel) resolve on their own and the baby is just fine.
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoulaMary View Post
Advice? Get a new doctor that actually has a heart.

Okay, sorry, I just had to write that. I'm sorry to say I have no experience with this and I just ache for the fear and uncertainty your sis is feeling right now. It's a GREAT sign that all other measurements are normal. If it were me I'd just be making myself sick with online research. I also believe I'd be making an appointment with a different doctor, call to have the ultrasound results sent over and see what someone else has to say.
That's what I thought. When i was pregnant with my son and we had some bad news from our ultrasound they would NOT tell me until my husband was there with me. My sister was all by herself. And the news was delivered in such a cold maner. The doctor asked her if she wanted an amnio done but she refused because she said no matter what happens, she will be continuing with the pregnancy anyways, so it's not worth the risk.
post #6 of 9
my cousin's son had the exact same thing. he's 10.5 months old now, healthy, happy and no downs.
post #7 of 9
I remember when one of my SILs was pregnant with twins, she had an U/S showing both babies had cysts in their brains. I'm not even sure what that was supposed to indicate? And my other SIL's doctor told her that her baby would be a dwarf based on femur measurements. OK, my niece is not going to be very tall, but she is not a dwarf either. And SIL is only like 5'2".

Anyway, I'd tell your SIL to try not to stress about it. And I'd also suggest she switch doctors (he sounds kind of rude to me!) and not get any more U/S.

Was this one of those really detailed U/S like a level 2? I had a normal 20 weeks U/S and the doctor who did it said I could get a level 2 because I was so ancient (I was 37 ). But my OB suggested not getting one because she said things turn up that are often just variations of normal and then you spend your whole pregnancy worrying about nothing.
post #8 of 9
I'm sorry your sister is so upset! Try to get her to clam down because the more upset she gets, the harder things will be for the baby, and her.

As for the dr being rude... My OB told my sister that if she didn't quit what she was doing she would be carrying a dead child. His bedside manner stunk, but he also saved my life and the lives of my twins, and his blunt manner caused my sister to stop acting like she was not in the middle of a difficult pregnance and behave herself. She ended up giving birth to a live baby, but because of all the crap she did while pregnant, the baby was not very healthy at first, but she is doing ok now.
post #9 of 9
My ultrasound showed calcium deposits in the heart. Freaked me out big time and I worried and worried......for what I now think was over nothing! My dd is fine and definitely not Down Syndrome. She was born with RDS(Respiratory Distress Syndrome) which landed her in NICU for a week but she is a totally healthy, happy baby.

Tell your sis to relax....I think everything will turn out OK!
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