First Trimester screening Ultrasound

  • First trimester ultrasound is usually performed between 11-14 weeks.
  • This ultrasound is important for early identification of fetal abnormalities.
  • When used with a blood test called PAPP A and Free Beta HCG it can also provide information about placental function, preeclampsia (high blood pressure developing in pregnancy) risk and provide an estimate of risk of having a baby with Down syndrome, or Trisomy 18/13.
  • Because it also evaluates the thickness of the fetal neck it also provides information about risks of the baby having a congenital heart defect.
  • Some patient are having early testing with a blood test for Down syndrome called ccf DNA or NIPT and are foregoing the first trimester ultrasound.
  • The lack of ultrasound evaluation at 12 weeks could result in an unexpected surprise at the 20 week ultrasound.
  • Combined evaluation with blood testing and early ultrasound is the most comprehensive evaluation available.