Ultrasound imaging is an extremely safe technology for examining the internal organs.
An Ultrasound test helps in diagnosis of various medical conditions and physical defects in the body. However, it is chiefly used during pregnancy to assess the wellbeing of the growing baby. Ultrasonography during pregnancy is safe, painless, cost-effective and easy to carry out.
The ultrasound imaging technique uses sound waves to recreate the image of internal organs on a computer screen. The high frequency sound waves used do not harm the body, unlike ionizing radiations e.g. X-rays.
With new and several improvements (3D and 4D scans) in the technique the utility of ultrasound imaging has increased, giving a lot more information.
Ultrasound scan report explained
Ultrasonography report of pregnancy gives a ton of information about the fetal well being. There are standard information sets in the scan which includes indication for ultrasound scan (first, second or third trimester) and method used to do the scan (transabdominal or transvaginal).
In addition, the first trimester pregnancy report includes the details listed below.
1. It confirms the number of babies growing inside i.e. whether they are single, twins, triplets, etc.
2. Gestational age (GA) or age of pregnancy is calculated using date of last menstrual period and using ultrasound based on the crown rump length or total length of the foetus.
3. Estimated date of delivery (EDD) is calculated separately using GA from LMP and U/S method respectively.
4. General evaluation:
- Cardiac activity – Presence of heart beat of the baby.
- Placenta – Position of placenta in the uterus (anterior or posterior)
- Cord vessels – Number of blood vessels (arteries and veins) in the umbilical cord. Normally, 3 blood vessels are present.
- Amniotic fluid – Indicates amount of amniotic fluid.
5. Foetal biometry:
- CRL or crown-rump length – length of the foetus from top of the head or crown to the bottom or rump of the buttocks.
- BPD or biparietal diameter – distance between two prominently bulging parietal bones on the skull
- NT or nuchal translucency - the fluid filled space between the skin and spine on the back of foetus’s neck. Larger the space, the greater the risk of congenital deformity.
- AC or abdominal circumference – measurement of the circumference of the baby’s abdomen.
- Gestational age based on above measurements is also mentioned along the side of each biometric measurement.
6. Foetal anatomy – indicates appearance of different organs of the foetus. Such as head, face, spine, chest, kidneys, etc.
7. Cardiac position, cardiac size and four chambers – shows normal or abnormal position, size and four compartments of heart, heart beat.
8. Gender – Gender or sex of the baby is not mentioned in India, but is visible to the doctor conducting the ultrasonography.
9. Impression – Result of the scan to show normal single or multiple pregnancy.
Second or third trimester pregnancy ultrasound report includes all the information present in first trimester scan along with some additional parameters.
- Location of the placenta in the uterus along with grades of complication (placenta previa), if present.
- Head circumference (HC), femoral length (FL)- length of the long bone of leg.
- Anatomy includes measurements various parts of brain like cerebellum, lateral ventricle, cisterna magna, etc.
- Estimated foetal weight (EFW) – calculated using abdominal circumference (AC), femoral length (FL), biparietal diameter (BPD).
- Estimated date of delivery (EDD) from previous scan and current scan respectively.
Talk to your gynaecologist if you wish to understand in detail how your baby is growing. The ultrasound report will give you a gamut of details that tells the gynaecologist that the baby is growing well, without any concerns. Your little bundle of joy will be due soon!
Explore the entire collection of articles: Pregnancy Must Know