Nuchal Translucency Ultrasound: What Is It?


You may have heard of a Nuchal Translucency Ultrasound but are not really sure what it is?  A Nuchal Translucency Ultrasound, sometimes referred to as an “NT” or a “nuchal fold scan”, is a non-invasive test used to help your practitioner assess your baby’s risk of having Down’s Syndrome or other chromosomal abnormalities. It can also be used to screen for major congenital heart problems.

A Nuchal Translucency Ultrasound uses ultrasound to measure the clear (translucent) space in the tissue at the back of a developing baby’s neck. Babies with chromosomal abnormalities tend to accumulate more fluid at the back of their necks during the first trimester.  This causes the clear space to be larger than average.

A Nuchal Translucency Ultrasound is performed between eleven and fourteen weeks of pregnancy.  It is usually done as part of a first-trimester combined screening. Many large OBGYN practices, including Marietta OB-GYN Affilliates, P.A., now offer Nuchal Translucency Ultrasound screenings. However, since this screening test requires special training and equipment, it may not be available at smaller practices.

A Nuchal Translucency Ultrasound enables you to learn about your baby’s risk for chromosomal abnormalities early in your pregnancy, without subjecting yourself to the slight risks that are associated with more invasive methods of testing. It can also serve to give you a greater peace of mind during the first few months of pregnancy. If you are pregnant and are interested in getting more information about first-trimester screening and Nuchal Translucency Ultrasound, talk to your OBGYN today. He or she can help determine if this type of testing is right for you.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Carlos Alarcon, Marietta OB-GYN Affiliates, P.A.