Performing a fetal anatomy scan at the time of first-trimester screening

Ilan E Timor-Tritsch, Karin M Fuchs, Ana Monteagudo, Mary E D'alton
Obstetrics and Gynecology 2009, 113 (2 Pt 1): 402-7
Over the past decade, prenatal diagnosis has shifted rapidly from the second trimester into the first trimester. Although the nuchal-translucency scan may detect a small proportion of fetal structural malformations, fetal anatomy is not routinely assessed until the fetal anatomical survey is performed in the second trimester between 18 and 22 weeks. The recent development of high-frequency transvaginal ultrasound transducers has led to vastly improved ultrasound resolution and improved visualization of fetal anatomy earlier in gestation. Several pilot studies of a first-trimester anatomic survey have reported detection rates comparable with those achieved in the routine second-trimester anatomic survey. As advanced ultrasound technology becomes more available, there is an urgent need to evaluate the diagnostic ability of a first-trimester anatomic survey and to determine the role of a first-trimester anatomic survey in the current screening paradigm.

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