All Posts tagged Echogenic intracardiac structures

[Echogenic intracardiac structures (golf ball phenomenon)

[Echogenic intracardiac structures (golf ball phenomenon) as predictors of chromosome anomalies]

Bettelheim D, Ulm MR, Deutinger J, Bernaschek G.

Universitatsklinik fur Frauenheilkunde, Abteilung fur Pranatale Diagnostik und Therapie, Wien.

Small echogenic areas in the fetal heart are known as the golf ball phenomenon. These structures are considered by some to be a marker for chromosomal anomalies.

AIM : To prospectively study the relationship of echogenic intracardiac structures and chromosomal aberrations.
METHODS : Over a 15 month period (6/96-9/97) 4500 unselected fetuses between 16-31 weeks were screened for malformations; in each case echogenic intracardiac structures were sought.
RESULTS: In 77 cases (1.17%) single or multiple echogenic punctate intracardiac structures could be diagnosed. In 60 fetuses (78%) chromosome analysis was performed. Two (3.3%) had chromosomal abnormalities–trisomy 21 and 45.XO/46.XX.


  • The golf ball phenomenon appears to be a normal variation in the development of the papillary muscle.
  • This sign is usually easily to identify and if present, should lead to a more detailed screening for anomalies.
  • In the case of other sonographic abnormalities, with advanced maternal age or with a positive triple test, a chromosomal analysis should be performed.
  • PerCarSkype – S.Gerboni Perinatal Cardiologist onLine hr 09.30:11.30

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