Nuchal Translucency (NT) is a small fluid-filled area on the back of baby’s neck. It is a nonspecific marker of a baby’s well-being. (11-13 Weeks)
What is Nuchal Translucency (NT)?
Nuchal Translucency (NT) is a sonographic (imaging) phenomena, which represents the fluid filled area
under the skin and at the back of the baby’s neck. NT is a non-specific (surrogate) marker of fetal
well-being that may be increased in the case of trisomy 21 (Down’s syndrome), other chromosomal
syndromes, fetal heart defects, or other structural anomalies.
If the baby is found to have only an increased NT without any other chromosomal or genetic anomalies, it
is believed that the nuchal fluid will resolve on its own and the child will be completely healthy. A small
proportion of babies with an isolated increase in NT have genetic syndromes or anomalies, which are
undetectable before birth.
In order to gain a better understanding of your baby’s well-being, we use advanced technology to perform
an Early Fetal Scan, which is a thorough top-to-toe examination of the fetal anatomy. This allows us to
exclude many fetal anomalies by having a closer look at the heart, spine, and brain, among other organs.
Additionally, we use NIPT to assess the risk of trisomy 21 (Down’s Syndrome). The combination of these
approaches is a much more effective way to exclude anomalies than NT measurements alone.
We measure NT thickness during the Early Fetal Scan
NT is an important non-specific marker of your baby’s well-being, where babies with an increased NT
measurement require further evaluation.
We routinely measure NT thickness during the Early Fetal Scan; however, we do not use this to calculate
your baby’s risk of Trisomy 21 (Down’s Syndrome). Instead we use NIPT, which has a much higher
detection rate and a lower false positive result compared to NT measurement.
Alternatively, we use 3.5 mm (NT thickness) as a cut-off for the referral of expecting mothers to a Fetal
Medicine Unit for further counselling.
Please book the Early Fetal Scan or our all-inclusive Early Fetal Reassurance Package:
Ultrasound and NIPT working together, which is an optimal combination for excluding
fetal anomalies in the first trimester (done at 10-13 weeks).