When you are pregnant, many things are running across your mind, thousands of question and millions of doubts. Will my delivery go okay? Will my baby be healthy? Is my child going to be normal? Etc. Hang in there mama, cause there are tests and scans that you can do, to rule out a few of the doubts that you are having.
Nuchal translucency or NT scan is one of them. NT scan is used to predict the possibility of a chromosomal abnormality in your unborn child.
Nuchal translucency scan is a part of the ultrasound scan. Most pregnant women do it around the 12th week of pregnancy. The scan aims to measure the size of the nuchal fold at the back of the baby’s neck to rule out the possibility or risk of any chromosomal abnormalities.
With the help of a nuchal translucency scan, your health professional will rule out the risk of abnormalities like trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome), trisomy 18 (Edwards Syndrome) or trisomy 13 (Patau syndrome). But remember that this scanning technique is used only for detecting the risk (high or low). A positive result is not a definitive answer about the chromosomal abnormalities.
NT scan measures the size of the nuchal translucency (which is a transparent tissue at the back of the baby’s neck) to check for any risk of chromosomal abnormalities. It is done during the first trimester of the pregnancy. It usually is not healthy for a growing foetus to have fluid or clear space at the back of their neck. If large spaces or fluids are identified, then it can indicate Down syndrome or another chromosome abnormality like Edwards syndrome or Patau syndrome.
Every cell in a human body consists of nuclear (the brain of the cell) which holds the genetic material. The nuclear normally have 23 pairs of chromosomes, which are equally inherited from both the parents. In some cases, an individual has an extra copy of chromosome 21 resulting in Down syndrome which is incurable and causes certain developmental delays and lifelong distinct physical characteristics.
Other chromosomal abnormalities cause Patau syndrome and Edwards syndrome which are often fatal to life. Here, most babies born with these abnormalities do not live over a year.
The NT scan can be done alone or combined with other tests and scans in the 11th and 14th week of the pregnancy. Here, your healthcare specialist performs an ultrasound scan which can be transvaginal (through your abdomen) or transabdominal (inserting a probe into the vagina). Once the images are created, the doctor measures the nuchal translucency or the clear space at the back of the foetus’s neck to calculate if there are any risks of chromosomal abnormalities.
NT scan is often coupled with a blood test to get a clearer and more accurate picture of the risk of a chromosomal abnormality.
You can trust Motherhood for your beautiful journey. Our Obstetric services include Antenatal care (before birth), Intrapartum care (during labour and delivery), and Postnatal care (after birth) which gives you and your little one, a womb-like care.
Our team of doctors will make sure you and your baby are healthy and strong throughout the pregnancy via regular checkups. They assist you with all the tests you need to rule out any abnormalities and give you a chance to learn how to manage the discomforts of the pregnancy. Motherhood delivers the best in women, newborn and children’s healthcare. Therefore, there is more than one reason to trust us!
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