Ultrasound and Screening Tests

Nuchal Translucency

ASMA KHALIL - MBBCH, MD, MRCOG, MSC(EPI), DFSRH, DIP(GUM)

Nuchal translucency and Nasal Bone Assessment

This ultrasound scan aims to confirm the presence of a heartbeat, determine the number of babies present and the expected date of delivery (dating). This is a detailed ultrasound scan of the baby and an opportunity to screen for chromosomal abnormalities, mainly Down’s syndrome, Edward’s syndrome and Patau’s syndrome.
Down’s Syndrome is the most common cause of learning disability. It is a chromosomal abnormality caused by the presence of an extra chromosome 21. The chance of having a baby with Down’s Syndrome increases as the mother gets older but there is a risk for women of all ages. The Combined Test is a screening test that measures various ultrasound and biochemical (substances in the mothers blood) markers to give an individualised risk of a pregnancy being affected with Down’s Syndrome.
The ultrasound markers that are used for this test are measurement of the nuchal translucency, presence or absence of the nasal bone and tricuspid regurgitation, assessment of flow in the ductus venosus and detailed examination of the baby’s anatomy. Maternal blood is also taken to measure levels of Beta Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin (the pregnancy hormone) and Pregnancy Associated Plasma Protein A (a protein produced by the developing placenta). The findings from the various assessments are then combined to give an individualised risk of the pregnancy being affected by Down’s Syndrome. The Combined Test can be performed between 11 weeks and 13 weeks and 6 days of pregnancy. In the NHS a risk of 1 in 150 or greater is considered to be “screen positive”. Women with a screen positive result will be offered counselling and a definitive diagnostic test, i.e. CVS or amniocentesis.
There has been an important new development, where a blood test taken from the mother can accurately detect whether the baby has Down’s syndrome or not. This test aims to examine some of the baby’s DNA that has got into the mother’s circulation. This reduces the need for chorionic villous sample or amniocentesis (CVS, Amnio). This is called the Non Invasive Prenatal Diagnosis (commonly known as The Harmony blood test). Please contact the office for more information.

Early Pregnancy / Dating Scan

Early Pregnancy Ultrasound Scan

Early Pregnancy Ultrasound Scan

This ultrasound scan aims to confirm the presence of a heartbeat, determine the number of babies present, the expected date of delivery (dating) and whether the pregnancy is developing normally inside the womb. This examination may be carried out transabdominally (through the abdomen) or transvaginally (through the vagina). Ideally you should have a full bladder so that a transabdominal scan can be performed first. If it is not possible to gain all the information we need, a transvaginal scan can be performed after emptying your bladder.

CVS / Amniocentesis

These tests give definitive results whether the baby has major chromosomal abnormality, such as Down’s syndrome. Traditionally, women chose to have CVS (chorionic villous sample) or amniocentesis after receiving the results of the combined test. CVS is performed from 11 weeks, while amniocentesis is performed from 15 weeks. These tests are ‘invasive procedures’ and carry a risk of miscarriage of 1%. This means that 1 in every 100 women who have these tests will have a miscarriage as a result of having the test.
There has been an important new development, where a blood test taken from the mother can accurately detect whether the baby has Down’s syndrome or not. This test aims to examine some of the baby’s DNA that has got into the mother’s circulation. This reduces the need for chorionic villous sample or amniocentesis (CVS, Amnio). This is called the Non Invasive Prenatal Diagnosis (commonly known as The Harmony blood test). Please contact the office for more information.

Non Invasive Prenatal Testing (Harmony)

There has been an important new development, where a blood test taken from the mother can accurately detect whether the baby has Down’s syndrome or not. This test aims to examine some of the baby’s DNA that has got into the mother’s circulation. This reduces the need for chorionic villous sample or amniocentesis (CVS, Amnio). This is called the Non Invasive Prenatal Diagnosis (commonly known as The Harmony blood test). Please contact the office for more information.

Reassurance Scan at 15 weeks – 18 weeks

This scan is not routine during your pregnancy care, but might be advised in particular if you have vaginal bleeding or tummy pain, or if you had a problem in your previous pregnancy. The baby’s size will be checked by measuring the baby’s head, abdomen and legs and plotting on a chart to check that it is growing normally. Other structures, such as the placenta, amniotic fluid and the umbilical cord, will also be checked.

Anomaly Scan at 20 weeks – 23 weeks

Anomaly Ultrasound Scan

Anomaly Ultrasound Scan

The purpose of this scan is to check that the baby’s size (by measuring the baby’s head, abdomen and legs and plotting on a chart) and the individual organs in detail (the baby’s heart, brain, spine, kidneys, bowel and limbs to detect any abnormalities). Most babies are healthy, but unfortunately some have problems that cannot be predicted by the health of the mother or family history. Other structures, such as the placenta, amniotic fluid and the umbilical cord, are also checked.
This scan is normally performed from 21 weeks onwards. However in certain cases, e.g. twin/multiple pregnancies, it may be beneficial to perform the scan at 18 weeks and then again at 21- 23 weeks.

Cervical Length Scan

Assessing the length of the uterine cervix (neck of the womb) can predict the risk of preterm birth. This scan is performed transvaginally (using a probe in the vagina) at 20-24 weeks. If you had a previous preterm birth, this is usually done from 14-16 weeks, and sequentially at 18, 20 and 22 weeks of pregnancy.

Wellbeing/Fetal Growth Scan (Inc. Doppler) at 24-40 wks

ASMA KHALIL - MBBCH, MD, MRCOG, MSC(EPI), DFSRH, DIP(GUM)
ASMA KHALIL - MBBCH, MD, MRCOG, MSC(EPI), DFSRH, DIP(GUM)
Fetal Wellbeing - MCA Dopplers

During this scan the following is assessed:

The position of the baby

Size of the baby (by measuring the baby’s head, abdomen and legs and plotting on a chart)

Amount of fluid surrounding the baby

Location of the placenta

Blood flow from the placenta to the baby

Blood flow in the baby’s brain

Baby’s overall well-being

Post-dates Scan at 40 - 41 Weeks

This scan is offered to women who are still pregnant after 40 weeks and are awaiting spontaneous labour. The main purpose of this scan is to look for any signs that the baby is not getting enough blood supply from the placenta, which might suggest earlier induction of labour. During this scan the following are assessed:

  • The position of the baby
  • Size of the baby (by measuring the baby’s head, abdomen and legs and plotting on a chart)
  • Amount of fluid surrounding the baby
  • Location of the placenta
  • Blood flow from the placenta to the baby
  • Blood flow in the baby’s brain
  • Baby’s overall well-being

3d / 4d Scans

Miss Khalil offers 3d/4d Scans in pregnancy.  These scans offer stunning images of your baby and allow you to see their features in amazing detail.  Please contact the office if you would like to book a scan.