The fetal growth scan and the Doppler examination are performed from 24 weeks until the end of pregnancy. The examination should be performed by doctors specialized in fetal medicine who can also perform a focused examination of the fetal anatomy.
What is checked?
- Fetal growth
- Doppler studies of the fetal and maternal vessels
- Position and appearance of the placenta and amount of amniotic fluid
- Fetal movements
- Fetal anatomy
The 3rd trimester (>28 weeks gestation) is the best period to assess the fetal growth. In 90% of fetuses the growth is within normal limits. Even in cases that the fetus is smaller or bigger than expected for the gestational age, pregnancy usually evolves normally. However, it is crucial to identify early the very small or very large fetuses in order to avoid any complications.
Doppler studies of fetal and maternal vessels
The Doppler studies are a method to assess the blood flow in fetal vessels (umbilical and middle cerebral arteries and fetal ductus venosus) and maternal vessels (uterine arteries). The Doppler studies provide us with information regarding the oxygenation of the fetus.