Nuchal Translucency Screening is a scan and blood test which assesses your baby and gives your risk of your baby having Down´s Syndrome (Trisomy 21), Edwards’s syndrome (Trisomy 18) and Patau’s Syndrome (Trisomy 13).
This is a non-diagnostic procedure and you will be told your risk of having an affected baby, NOT if your baby is definitely affected.
According to the NHS, the detection rate for the combined test is 85% for Down’s syndrome and 80% for Edward’s and Patau’s syndrome. Because this is a screening test, there will also be some women who are told they are low risk (screen negative) but will go onto have an affected baby and there will be some women who will be told they are high risk (screen positive) and they will go on to have a ‘normal’ baby.
If your results give you a high risk (screen positive) of your baby having Down’s syndrome (or other chromosomal abnormality) you will need to decide if you want to have further ‘diagnostic’ testing to confirm if your baby is affected. Diagnostic tests such as amniocentesis can in a small number of cases, cause a miscarriage so you need to obtain as much information as you can before making a decision about whether to proceed.
What data is collected and what do we look at?
Important background data about the mother and her family history is taken. If the pregnancy is through IVF or other assisted methods, you can still have the test and we will need other information
During the scan we will do our best to visualise particular features of your baby including:
• Measuring the thickness of the Nuchal Translucency (fluid at the back of the baby’s neck) and measuring the baby from the top of its head to its bottom (Crown Rump Length). These measurements must be taken with the baby in the perfect position in order for them to be accurate so patience is required because babies do not always co-operate!
• As well as the measurements, we do a thorough check of the baby, including its heart rate and the structures which can be seen at this early gestation to check that all is progressing as it should be.
The findings from the scan and the results of a blood test (looking at ßhCG and PAPP-A) will enable us to assess your risk of having an affected baby by using the Fetal Medicine Foundation software.
Fetal Medicine Foundation (FMF) Accredited.
We are an accredited site of the FMF. Our Sonographers are trained and continually assessed by the FMF and we use the FMF software to calculate your risk. Visit the Fetal Medicine Foundation website for more information.
Ultrasound Pregnancy Scans
Early reassurance / viability scan 7+ – 10 weeks
NT / Dating Scan 11+2 – 14 weeks
NIPT Non Invasive Pre-Natal Testing from 10 weeks
Gender Scan 16+ weeks
Detailed anatomy scan 18+0 – 20+6 weeks
Fetal Wellbeing Scan 23-40 weeks
3D and 4D Scans 25-32 weeks