Nuchal Translucency (NT) Scan
Ultrasound Scan for Down's Syndrome (11-13 Weeks)
- Safe for mother and baby
- Includes early fetal ultrasound
- Check for chromosomal anomaly
Nuchal Translucency ultrasound scans are generally carried out around 12 weeks (the baby must be 45mm to 84mm from head to bottom (Crown to Rump Length CRL)) and can be performed to assess the probability of Down’s syndrome and to check major anatomical structures, therefore, ruling out other abnormalities not always screened for by the NHS.
During your ultrasound scan, the sonographer will confirm the foetal heartbeat, as well as the number of babies (singleton or multiple). Your baby’s head, brain, face, heart, stomach, bladder, hands and feet can be seen. We will also look at the placenta, amniotic fluid and umbilical cord.
Many parents will choose a private NT scan to obtain a second opinion following their routine 12-week NHS scan (offered as part of the Fetal Anomaly Screening Programme). This might be to obtain a more detailed scan or an informed and lengthy explanation.
The nuchal scan is the most common screening test for Down’s Syndrome and other abnormalities and measures the fluid under the skin at the back of the baby’s neck. The risk result will be individually calculated based on factors including; maternal age, gestation, the nuchal translucency measurement and other ultrasound chromosomal markers, which include intracranial translucency (IT), tricuspid regurgitation, ductus venosus (DV) and nasal bone measurements.
The NHS detection rate is 70-90% and will vary depending on where you have your scan and who carries it out. The NHS offers only a basic Nuchal measurement and does not assess other features such as the presence or absence of the nasal bone, tricuspid regurgitation, ductus blood flow and foetal heart rate which can significantly affect the risk.
In any instance where your NHS scan fails to obtain the nuchal translucency measurement, we always advise an urgent appointment as it is important to be seen before week 14 of your pregnancy.
We also offer NIPT testing.