Nuchal Translucency Ultrasound
About Nuchal Translucency Ultrasounds
A nuchal translucency (NT) ultrasound is performed between weeks 11 and 13 of pregnancy. Between 9 and 12 weeks gestation, your baby undergoes a process called organogenesis or the process of organ formation. As such, the purpose of this ultrasound is to assess the baby’s development up to this point. This test includes measuring the clear tissue, called the nuchal translucency, at the back of your baby's neck. This measurement helps assess the risk of associated chromosomal abnormalities as well as major congenital heart defects. It is not a definitive test. If an abnormal result is detected during the exam, further testing will be recommended. There is optional bloodwork called eFTS (Enhanced First Trimester Screening), offered to patients at this time as well. eFTS is covered through OHIP. More information about eFTS can be found on Ontario’s Prenatal Screening website by clicking here.
All women have a small chance of delivering a baby with a physical or cognitive disability. While a nuchal translucency exam is optional for all pregnant people, it is recommended in the following scenarios:
- Age 35 or older
- Family history of chromosomal disorders
- Previous pregnancy with a chromosomal disorder
- Abnormal blood test results
Markham Fertility Centre continues to care for its patients through the first trimester. Your fertility doctor will talk to you about whether a nuchal ultrasound is recommended in your instance. The test can be done at CARE Imaging, located on the same floor as the clinic. CARE Imaging allots one (1) hour for this ultrasound. It can be completed much sooner, but the exam length depends on baby’s position, movement, and technical factors.
Steps to Prepare for a Nuchal Translucency Ultrasound
ALLERGY ALERT : Notify the sonographer if you have a latex allergy.
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