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Ultrasound Diagnosis During Pregnancy: How Much “D” Is Needed?

Ultrasound has firmly entered our lives. Today, no thorough examination of the body is complete without this type of diagnosis. Ultrasound diagnosis is of particular importance in monitoring pregnancy. It should be at least three times in 9 months for all, without exception, expectant mothers: in the first trimester (11-13 weeks), in the second trimester (19-21 weeks) and the third trimester (30-32 weeks).

But there are already so many ultrasound research formats - 2D, 3D, and even 4D! And all of them are an integral complement to a full and high-quality examination of pregnant women.

When cannot do without 3D?

The research has stated that it is necessary to conduct a 3d ultrasound of the fetal brain for all pregnant women when screening for the first trimester - at 12 weeks. This type of study on changes in the brain allows you to identify severe defects in the spinal cord, namely, Spina Bifida (open spinal cord). At such early times, only 2D scanning may be insufficient, so 3D is an important addition.

In the II-III trimesters, one cannot do without a 3D scan of the fetal brain if it is suspected of defects in its individual structures, such as partial or complete agenesis (absence) of the corpus callosum, transparent septum cavity, and cerebellar worm.

In what cases cannot do without 4D?

4D ultrasound is also an integral part of the examination of the fetus in the II-III trimesters of pregnancy, especially for the diagnosis of facial defects, namely the eyes (the presence of eyeballs in the orbits), cleft lips and palate, the presence or absence of auricles, defects of the nose, extremities, and fingers.

What diagnostic problems can occur during 3D and 4D ultrasound?

The problems with using 3D and 4D for diagnostics are only in the correctness of obtaining 2D slices. This is influenced by many factors: the position of the fetus, the presence of amniotic fluid in the study area, the thickness and density of adipose tissue of the anterior abdominal wall of the uterus, and the qualification of the doctor.

What are the benefits of 4D over 3D ultrasound?

4D allows you to observe the fetus in real-time, to see its movements and even emotions, smile - and this is its main advantage over 3D.

Is 4D ultrasound enough for a doctor to be informative, or is it necessary to do without 2D indicators?

Of course, 2D ultrasound is an integral part of all ultrasound examinations of pregnant women. All other methods only complement it and significantly improve the quality of the study. One of the most powerful ultrasound schools in obstetrics in the world - the Fetal Medicine Foundation - conducts all of its training and certification for doctors based on 2D images and videos.

Are there any contraindications for an ultrasound?

There is no study on the negative effects of pregnancy ultrasound on the human body or fetus. Therefore, there are no contraindications to ultrasound for pregnant women. There are also no restrictions on the number of such studies - they are carried out as much as necessary in each case.

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