Q: “My partner has just had her 20-week scan which showed what the consultant called a ‘golf ball’ in the heart, which he said was a ‘soft’ indicator of an increased risk of chromosome abnormality. He wasn’t particularly worried by it, and said that some hospitals don’t even mention it, as the risk is so small. Could you give me some more information about this phenomenon?”
A: Since the introduction of routine ultrasound scanning in pregnancy there has been much interest in the finding that was noted on your partner’s 20-week scan. This appearance of a ‘golf ball’ in the heart located between the right atrium and the right ventricle was originally thought to be associated with congenital abnormalities. However, research has not confirmed any association between this finding and any congenital abnormality. It seems that the appearance is due to the structure of the muscle or of the apparatus of the valve at this site. It is now considered to be an insignificant finding.
Dr Jo Lee, Babyworld Doctor.