The majority of tests needed for both normal and abnormal pregnancies are performed by the obstetrician or the maternal fetal medicine physician. However, The Chicago Institute for Fetal Health can provide additional imaging when physicians or patients would like a second opinion or advanced imaging.
In certain situations, we perform ultrasounds (sonograms) on pregnant women to check certain areas of the baby.
Ultrasound is an imaging technology that uses high frequency sound waves to produce precise images of structures within the human body. These images often provide valuable information to diagnose and treat disease. Ultrasound is used to visualize a wide range of anatomic structures, including abdominal organs, the thyroid gland, pelvic structures, chest organs and the brain. It can also take images of blood flowing through veins and arteries throughout the body.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a technique for taking pictures of internal structures in the body. MRIs help doctors see details of the inner body that could not be seen well with available x-ray or ultrasound equipment. MRIs take images quickly, which is important since a baby inside the mother doesn't hold still for long. In addition, our pediatric specialists, including pediatric neuroradiologists, are experts in interpreting images of babies and developing babies.
A fetal echocardiogram (or “echo”) is a specialized ultrasound examination of the unborn baby’s heart. The test itself is similar to a routine OB ultrasound, which allows specialists to obtain detailed images of the baby’s heart.