The nuchal translucency as a characteristic of the baby development – The Nackendransparenzuntersuchung (also called neck wrinkle measurement) is carried out in the context of prenatal care only on explicit request and is associated with no risk to the unborn baby.
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The term nuchal translucency explained briefly
A natural fluid accumulation that occurs during the 11th and 14th week of pregnancy in the neck area of an unborn baby is referred to by medical professionals as “nuchal translucency.” The nature of this so-called edema can provide information about how a baby develops normally. During the regular ultrasound scan, the doctor can view the nuchal translucency and measure it.
If this deviates from the normal values and thus corresponds to the average values that have healthy babies, this may be an indication of possible undesirable developments. However, this need not be the case and can be further clarified by further investigations (such as an amniocentesis or blood test). After the 14th week of pregnancy, the nuchal translucency forms again in the course of baby growth.
Measurements between 1 to 2.5 mm are in the normal range for the neck pleat measurement. From 3 mm, doctors speak clearly, from 6 mm increased from strong. Trisomy diagnoses are often associated with a nuchal translucence value from 3 mm. However, normal baby development is also possible with greater, nonspecific nuchal translucency.
Identify risks with the neck pleat measurement
If the ultrasound detects deviating neck-fold transparency, this still does not allow any conclusion as to whether there is a malformation or what type of malformation. It is merely an indication that there is an increased likelihood of miscarriage, such as heart disease or chromosomal abnormalities. Only further diagnostic steps, such as the performance of a fine ultrasound, can discard or reinforce such an assumption. For example, a noticeably increased nuchal translucency is often found in the following development peculiarities:
- Trisomy 10, 13, 15, 18, 21 (Down syndrome) and 22
- Trisomy X
- Cornelia de Lange Syndrome
- Malformations of the heart, skeleton or lungs as well
- Turner syndrome
Diaphragm and umbilical hernias (referred to as diaphragmatic and umbilical hernias) may also cause greater nuchal translucency. Since nuchal translucency serves as a soft marker in prenatal diagnosis, it should under no circumstances serve as the sole basis of decision for or against abortion.
TIPS FROM GYNECOLOGIST DR. VERENA BREITENBACH
- A nuchal translucency measurement is advisable as it is a simple examination method for both mother and child, which can already reduce the risk of many diseases.
- If one determines further laboratory parameters, the safety increases again.