The fetal anatomy scan is a detailed examination of every fetal organ. Special attention is given in the examination of the brain, face, heart, stomach, bowel, kidneys, spine as well as the arms and legs of the fetus. In addition, we determine the position of the placenta and assess the amount of the amniotic liquid and the fetal growth.
In the majority of the cases, no obvious abnormality is detected, however 1% of the fetuses appear to have a serious condition. Approximately 70% of fetal abnormalities can be detected through the anomaly scan. Unfortunately, no scan examination can exclude all kinds of abnormalities; neither can guarantee the birth of a completely healthy child. If an abnormality is detected, it is going to be thoroughly discussed, and if necessary, we are to conduct additional investigations.
During the fetal anatomy scan, we can also estimate the possibility of developing pre- eclampsia, intrauterine fetal growth restriction (IUGR) and preterm birth.
Pre-eclampsia and intrauterine fetal growth restriction
The main cause of pre-eclampsia and intrauterine fetal growth restriction is the placental deficiency. This can be predicted by checking the blood flow in the maternal uterine arteries with Doppler examination. If there is increased resistance of the blood flow in the uterine arteries, then 1 out of 4 women will develop pre-eclampsia and/or fetal intrauterine growth restriction. In the remaining cases, the pregnancy would be uncomplicated.
Almost 50% of preterm birth cases before 34 weeks of pregnancy are connected to short uterine cervix. The cervix is the lowest part of a woman’s uterus that is dilated during the childbirth. The transvaginal ultrasound examination of the cervix during the fetal anomaly scan is an important tool for detecting women in danger of having preterm birth.