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 The purpose of ultrasonic scans during pregnancy is to follow up the development of the intrauterine embryo, to diagnose certain developmental anomalies or other conditions which would endanger health of the fetus and/or of the mother. In case of gestation without complaints four or five ultrasonic scans is recommended. By these examinations almost 90 % of the abnormal conditions can be recognized with high probability, depending on the gestational age.

0 scan: : (ultrasonic scan for determining gestational state): Its time – 7-10th week of gestation, depending on the date of pregnant’s application The purpose is to prove gestation, its intrauterine, or perhaps extrauterine position, its living condition and age, as well as decision of whether single or multiple conception has happened. It is practically done by transvaginal scanning because the image gained will allow for finding much finer details than with the transabdominal examination.

1st scan:It should be done around 12-13th week of gestation. The purpose is (in addition to the previously mentioned ones) detection of abnormal conditions of the early pregnancy, and of several developmental anomalies of the embryo. Scanning is usually performed with a transvaginal and/or a transabdominal probe – in case of transvaginal scan empty bladder is required. Motion of the fetus, heart activity can be observed and the body mass (dimensions) can be determined (sitting height = crown-rump length, CRL). The age of gestation is determined on the basis of the body sizes. In case it complies with the pregnancy period calculated from amenorrhea then the expected time of delivery (so called terminus) can be accounted by the end of the 40th week, reckoned from the first date of the last normal menstruation. In case the size of the embryo significantly differs from the calculated time (by more than one week) then the expected time of delivery is modified on the basis of the ultrasonic scan (so called ultrasonic terminus). Nuchal skin fold test (NT) is performed during this scan with the purpose of early screening of embryonic chromosomal abnormalities (first of all Down syndrome). This examination is part of the so called „combined test”.

2nd scan: :It is done in 18-20th week of pregnancy. Scans are performed from this time by transabdominal scanning head, but sometimes examination of the parts near the inside cervix needs transvaginal scan, too. It is the most important test for checking normal development because the formation of the embryonic organs has mainly been finished by this time

The embryo is scanned per body parts, position of the placenta, maturity, volume of the amniotic fluid and actual posture of the embryo is determined. Checking of the growth and development of the embryo is performed by means of determination of the head’s and the trunk’s diameter (BPD, OFD) and circumference (HC and AC) and the dimension of the femor (FL) or perhaps of the humerus (HL).

3rd scan: Its time is 30-32th week of pregnancy. The purpose is checking of the embryonic development and screening of developmental abnormalities which can be diagnosed in later fetal age.

4th scan: :This examination is due in 37-38th weeks. It provides especially useful information for the coming delivery: intrauterine posture, size, expected weight etc. of the fetus.

Colour-coded Doppler flowmetry: Examination of the blood flow of mother’s and certain embryonic vessels supplying the pregnant uterine. The examination may be reasonable at any time of the gestation. The purpose is investigation of the intrauterine conditions of the embryo and functioning of the placenta.

Fetal echocardiography: Ultrasonography of the fetal heart requires detailed, special knowledge and professional preparedness with appropriate instrumentation. We offer this screening for each expectant mother cared for at Maternity Clinics. The recommended time is 22-23rd week of pregnancy

Pászkányné Jenei Katalin

Pászkányné Jenei Katalin
A szerző szonográfus


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Pregnant women and their children first of all