Carnegie Imaging’s Dr. Ana Monteagudo a member of the ISOUG practice guideline committee regarding the sonographic evaluation of the fetal nervous system. Alongside fellow committee members, Dr. Monteagudo recently published the “ISUOG Practice Guidelines (updated): sonographic examination of the fetal central nervous system. Part 1: performance of screening examination and indications for targeted neurosonography.” The publication serves as a guideline for OB/GYNs as they evaluate the fetal nervous system during a midtrimester (20 week) anomaly scan.
Guidelines for Fetal Central Nervous System Evaluation
Dr. Monteagudo and her coauthors’ guide specifies what OB/GYNs should look for during a grayscale, 2D ultrasound of the head, brain, and spine during a midtrimester scan. The guide outlines the normal and expected appearance and size for each of these structures and methods that OB/GYNs should follow when taking measurements.
For example, it is recommended that the fetal head and spine are evaluated using transabdominal sonography to ensure that the head shape and brain texture appear normal and the brain’s structures match the appropriate appearance according to the gestational stage. OB/GYNs can also screen for spinal abnormalities such as spina bifida by observing a “longitudinal section of the fetal spine.” Finally, doctors can assess the head circumference and other measurements using techniques and equations provided in the guidelines; this can screen for complications such as microcephaly and macrocephaly.
What Pregnant Women Need to Know about Ultrasound
The techniques described in this guideline pertain to what most patients know as the follow-up anatomy scan, which is performed between 20 and 22 weeks of the pregnancy. During this examination, your Obstetrician will evaluate features of your baby’s anatomy (including the central nervous system) for signs of birth defects.
Carnegie Imaging includes world-renowned experts in ultrasound, including Dr. Monteagudo, allowing for more advanced evaluation and diagnosis. This is especially beneficial for high-risk pregnancies. Diagnosing a complication early helps you to prepare to meet your child’s needs as soon as they are born. For example, you may choose to deliver at a hospital that has a robust NICU, research their condition ahead of their birth, or make arrangements to meet special needs later in their life.
Read the Report
If you wish to read the full guideline from the International Society of Ultrasound and Gynecology, you can find it here.
Cited: Malinger G, Paladini D, Haratz KK, Monteagudo A, Pilu G, Timor-Tritsch IE. ISUOG Practice Guidelines (updated): sonographic examination of the fetal central nervous system. Part 1: performance of screening examination and indications for targeted neurosonography. Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol 2020. DOI: 10.1002/uog.22145.
Carnegie Imaging for Women blogs are intended for educational purposes only and do not replace certified professional care. Medical conditions vary and change frequently. Please ask your doctor any questions you may have regarding your condition to receive a proper diagnosis or risk analysis. Thank you!