What is a Nuchal Translucency Examination?
All women, whatever their age, have a small risk of delivering a baby with physical and/or intellectual disability. Sometimes the disability is due to a chromosomal abnormality such as Down syndrome (also known as Trisomy 21).
The nuchal translucency examination, which involves a combination of a special ultrasound and a blood test, is offered to pregnant women to assess major chromosomal congenital anomalies. The test suggests which pregnancies are at a higher risk of abnormality and may need further investigation. A normal result does not guarantee a normal baby but does imply that an abnormality is unlikely. An abnormal result does not mean the baby is abnormal but suggests the baby should be further investigated.
The examination also confirms the pregnancy dates, development and number of foetuses or embryos in the uterus.
Please ensure the following steps are followed. They will serve to prepare you for your examination and/or procedure.
- Appointment required for this examination
- The blood test (which should be arranged with a pathology clinic) is recommended during the 10th week of pregnancy
- The Ultrasound scan (with Castlereagh Tamworth) is then performed ideally at 12 weeks (11 – 13 weeks) of pregnancy, and no later than 13 weeks 6 days of pregnancy
- You will be asked to drink fluids to fill your bladder prior to the ultrasound