Nuchal Translucency Examination

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This type of examination is performed in order to assess the risk of Down syndrome and some of the other common chromosomal conditions that occur in pregnancy.

The examination also allows for an early assessment of the anatomy of the baby. This examination is performed between 12 - 13 weeks gestation – so it is very important that you are certain of your dates.

If there is any uncertainty about the dating of the pregnancy - a dating scan (prior to 12 weeks) might be worthwhile to make sure that your appointment is made at the correct time. A first trimester serology blood test is required and that can be collected at the time of your appointment. This will be used along with the ultrasound examination findings to calculate the risk of chromosome conditions like Down syndrome.

The examination is usually performed by using the transabdominal probe on your abdomen.

For this type of scan a full bladder assists in visualisation of the uterus and pregnancy. Please present with a comfortably full bladder on the day of your appointment.

Occasionally a transvaginal examination is also required and our sonographer performing the examination will discuss this with you, if needed.

As part of this examination you will be able to see important structures of your baby:

• Head, brain, face, thickness at the back of the neck (nuchal translucency).

• Chest

• Abdomen: kidneys, stomach, bladder and umbilical cord.

• Limbs: arms and legs.

It may be a bit early to view some of the finer details such as fingers, toes and the baby’s gender. If you have any questions or specific concerns please feel free to ask our sonographer who is performing your scan.


  • Fetus 12 Weeks

    Fetus 12 Weeks

  • Nuchal Translucency and Nasal Bone

    Nuchal Translucency and Nasal Bone