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CCHD may be detected before a baby is born. If a routine fetal ultrasound shows a possible problem with a baby’s heart, the healthcare provider will order a fetal echocardiogram. This test uses an ultrasound device on the mother’s belly or in her vagina to take detailed pictures of the baby’s heart.

After a baby is born, CCHD is usually first noticed by pulse oximetry screening. This simple, painless test uses sensors to measure oxygen levels. It’s part of standard newborn care before a baby is released from the hospital.

Other tests may include:

  • Chest X-ray: A chest X-ray takes pictures inside the chest to reveal any structural abnormalities. It can help healthcare providers tell whether the baby has a heart or lung issue.
  • Hyperoxia test (oxygen challenge): This test can help healthcare providers determine whether a baby has CCHD or a lung problem. The test measures oxygen in the blood when the baby is breathing normal room air. Then it measures it again after the baby breathes 100% oxygen for 10 minutes.
  • Electrocardiogram: Electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) measures the electrical activity of your heart.
  • Echocardiogram: An echocardiogram (echo) uses ultrasound to create images of your heart’s valves and chambers.
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