April 7, 2011

NT Scan

For those that aren't familiar with what the NT (Nuchal Transluceny) Scan is, basically its a tool that can be used to check for problems in the fetus. People generally think of it in relation to detection of Downs Syndrome (Trisomy 21), but it can also pick up on other chromosonal and nural tube defects. Some examples of things that might be found in addition to Trisomy 21 are: Trisomies 13 or 18, Anencephaly, Hydrocephalus, & Omphalocele. Some of these conditions are or can be so severe that the baby will not be compatible with life. In many cases there is a high likelihood that the baby will not survive to term.

At the NT Scan they are focusing on a small area of fluid on the back of the babies neck (the nuchal fold). Studies have found that the thickness of this fold, when measured between 11 weeks and 14 weeks, is a good indicator of the likelihood of a chromosonal problem. Measurements of less than 2.5mm are good, 2.5-3mm are borderline. Greater than 3mm is generally not good news. They also look for the presence/abscence of nasal bones as this is another good indicator of a problem.

Gonna cut straight to the good news: Baby still has a heartbeat & everything looked good on the scan. Measurement was 1.2! We got to hear the heartbeat for the first time today too (albeit machine generated), 158bpm. My husband was able to join me as well. This was his first time seeing the little bugger.

The tech really buzzed around checking all sorts of things I didn't expect. Some things we learned: All 4 limbs are present and accounted for (can even make out bones in forearm in one of the pics), both hemispheres of the brain are there, as is a skull, nose has bones, baby has a stomach, heart looked good, placenta looked good and seemed to have good flow, placenta is posterior, & my cervix looks good. There is probably more that she checked that I'm forgetting, but that's the basics. Basically in a few short minutes, we got some visual confirmation to help rule out many of the potentially fatal conditions I listed in the first paragraph.

I'm not going to include a picture because honestly they didn't come out very clear. The one I included in my post from last weeks ultrasound was so much clearer. That one was only a week ago, so there really hasn't been much change in how the baby looks.

I didn't get to hear how the blood test results measured up today. My blood draw was done at my normal hospital and the u/s was done at another hospital (tech that does NT scans at my hospital is deployed right now...gotta love going to a military hospital). Todays results will be forwarded to my doctor and my doctor will get back to me with results (no idea when...but I'll call next week to see what's up if I don't hear first). The tech did say though that the u/s didn't show anything of concern, so that's good news. I guess I'll be doing a second blood draw at my next appointment (16w) as well. Comparing the results to last weeks draw gives them even more info.

I'll let you all know what I find out when they get the results to me.



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