The goal of this atlas is to provide a quick resource that
you can easily access on your computer or phone to help assess what is
‘normal’. Before moving on to diagnose
what is ‘abnormal’, it is vital to be confident with what ‘normal’ fetal
anatomy looks like during the second trimester scan.
While different countries may have different standards for
timing of the 2nd trimester ultrasound. Biometry algorithms may likewise be
dissimilar. But fetal anatomy is universal.
Aside from the brief summaries and ‘tips’, scroll down and
you will find The ObG Project entries related to structures being reviewed,
including current guidelines. Tap key
words for helpful glossary terms.
What Does ‘Normal’ Mean?
Even in the best of hands, structural anomalies can be
missed. It is always important to let a
patient know that birth defects can occur in 3 to 4% of pregnancies and many,
but not all abnormalities, can be detected on ultrasound. Sometimes the problem is simply too small to
see, while some defects may not develop until later in the pregnancy.
The Key ‘Take Home’ Point
If ever there is the slightest doubt as to whether an image is ‘normal’, consider referral to a center with expertise in fetal ultrasound to confirm whether there is a structural abnormality, and if so, to make a diagnosis quickly. You can find helpful resources, including where to find a maternal fetal medicine expert (US) and genetic services (US and Canada).
We acknowledge Bethune M, Alibrahim E, Davies B, Yong E., A pictorial guide for the second trimester ultrasound. Australasian Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine. 2013;16(3):98-113. doi:10.1002/j.2205-0140.2013.tb00106.x. Published by John Wiley and Sons
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