Pregnancy Ultrasound

Nuchal Translucency Scan (12-14 weeks)

A Nuchal Translucency (NT) scan is a screening test that helps to detect which babies are at a higher risk of having Down Syndrome.

The NT scan is not 100% accurate and used alone has an 80% accuracy rate. A blood test is also available which increases the accuracy.  You can talk to your midwife about this.

The test needs to be completed between 12-14 weeks gestation.

What to expect during your scan: In early pregnancy the baby is naturally very small and more difficult to visualize. The sonographer will point out to you as many features as they are able to as they scan you and your baby.  If at any point your full bladder is VERY uncomfortable don’t hesitate to tell the sonographer as it may be appropriate for you to relieve some of the pressure in your bladder without compromising the success of the scan.

During your scan: A limited scan of the fetus will be done to confirm the gestation.  A measurement of the Nuchal Translucency behind the baby’s neck is taken and recorded.   The results of the scan will be given to your midwife. She will discuss these results with you once you have had the blood test so both sets of results are collated to give you an overall result.

For more information about this screening test please visit the National Screening Unit website.