Fetal Growth



Heart Function

Newest Technology to Evaluate Function of the Fetal Heart in Fetuses Who are Have Growth Restriction


Approximately 10% of fetuses may be classified as growth restricted in the last 13 weeks of pregnancy. This simply means that they are undergrown, or their weights estimated by ultrasound measurements are less than the 10th percentile. For example, if we were to classify people by their height it would range between 0 t0 100, with the 50th percentile being average.  If an individual were at the 10th percentile this would mean that 90 percent of the population would be taller than the person who is at the 10th percentile.


Studies evaluating growth of the fetus have reported that those fetuses who have an estimated ultrasound weight less than the 10th percentile are at increased risk for adverse outcome that includes fetal death, as well as complications following birth such as heart disease, diabetes, and learning disabilities.  When such fetuses are identified, further evaluation of blood flow to the placenta and to the fetal brain assist in identifying a subgroup of fetuses who have increased risk for adverse outcome.


Until recently, it was thought that if a fetus had an estimated weight less than the 10th percentile but had NORMAL blood flow studies of the umbilical artery and brain, then the fetus was simply small, with no risk for adverse outcome. However, in recent studies by Dr. DeVore, in conjunction with investigators at the University of Colorado, they demonstrated that these fetuses also had abnormal cardiac findings that altered the size and shape of the fetal heart as well as function of the ventricles.


The above findings were identified using a new technology to assess fetal heart function that was created by Dr. DeVore in conjunction with TomTec and General Electric Ultrasound. This technology was introduced to the ultrasound world in October 2019, at an international meeting of ultrasound specialists in Singapore.  This new technology is called fetalHQ, in which HQ represents “Heart Quantification.”


If you are interested, you may click on the references listed below to review the abstracts and studies written by Dr. DeVore that were used in the creation of this sophisticated program that will revolutionize evaluation of the fetus.  In addition, there is a link to an interview in which Dr. DeVore describes how this technology was developed. Of importance, Dr. DeVore has received no compensation from GE Ultrasound or TomTec for developing this technology and therefore, has no conflict of interest when discussing this technology.


Dr. DeVore's Interview with GE Ultrasound Regarding the Development of fetalHQ

Medical Publications by Dr. DeVore

That Provided the Basis for



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GE Press Release


Growth Paper

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