19 Week Scan
MORPHOLOGY (STRUCTURAL ANATOMY) SCAN
The morphology scan may also be known as the 19 week scan. By this stage most of the organs and structures within the baby have formed and are able to be assessed with ultrasound. Nowadays, most women have already had an earlier ultrasound (most likely a Nuchal Translucency Screening scan) when they present for the morphology scan.
2D IMAGES AT 19 WEEKS
For those attending their first ultrasound examination in this pregnancy, the following can be established:
Presence of fetal heartbeat
Number of fetuses
Fetal structural development
Amniotic fluid volume
Some abnormalities will never be seen on ultrasound. These include cerebral palsy, autism, deafness and blindness. However everything that can be seen on ultrasound will be checked whilst you are scanned. Occasionally some areas cannot be fully assessed on the day due to the patient’s BMI or the lie of the fetus. In these rare occasions you will be asked to return at a later date so these areas can be fully assessed.
Sometimes markers can be seen within the fetus that may have a link with Down syndrome. These include mildly dilated kidneys, choroid plexus (brain) cysts, short limbs and underdeveloped or absent nasal bone. When these markers are noted, there is an increased chance that the fetus could have Down syndrome. In this situation, Dr Carmody will discuss with you the options available, and the likely outcome. At this gestation, the only way to exclude Down syndrome with 100% certainty is to perform an amniocentesis. Although this procedure is usually performed at about 14 weeks, it can be done at any time in the pregnancy if needed.
Fetal gender can almost always be determined at this scan. On rare occasions, due to the lie of the fetus, we may be unable to see the baby’s gender. If you wish to know the baby’s gender and we cannot see it on the day, we will organise for you to come in at a later date at no charge. You will only be told the gender of your baby if you request this information.
In our practice we have a checklist of fetal anatomical structures that must be seen by the practitioner before your scan is considered complete. Our practice policy is for the morphology scan to be viewed by two qualified practitioners. It is important to note that no matter how detailed the scan, we can only see anomalies that are structural in nature. For example, ultrasound will never show cerebral palsey, blindness or autism. If an anomaly is found at this ultrasound, your referring medical practitioner will be notified, and we will discuss the findings with you.
You will be provided with a DVD of 3D and 4D images, plus a report and a photo to add to your baby folder.