Donald School Journal of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology

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VOLUME 17 , ISSUE 2 ( April-June, 2023 ) > List of Articles


Three-dimensional/Four-dimensional Ultrasound: The Key for the Precise Assessment of Fetal Malformations

Eberhard Merz, Sonila Pashaj

Keywords : Prenatal diagnosis, Fetal malformations, Three-dimensional ultrasound, Four-dimensional ultrasound, Visualization modes

Citation Information : Merz E, Pashaj S. Three-dimensional/Four-dimensional Ultrasound: The Key for the Precise Assessment of Fetal Malformations. Donald School J Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol 2023; 17 (2):158-164.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10009-1971

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 05-07-2023

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2023; The Author(s).


Three-dimensional/four-dimensional (3D/4D) ultrasound has a high diagnostic potential in the detection and visualization of fetal malformations. Compared to two-dimensional (2D) ultrasound, which only allows the demonstration of individual planes, 3D/4D ultrasound allows the storage of volumes that can be examined using different visualization modes. As a result, fetal structures can be represented in controlled reformatted planes, in multiple parallel (tomographic) planes, or in rendered surface or transparent images. Fetal malformations can thus be demonstrated with the optimal visualization mode and from the best viewing angle. In the case of a presumed fetal malformation during a 2D ultrasound examination, or in the case of an increased recurrence risk of a certain fetal malformation, the different viewing modes, in particular the surface mode, can be used to convincingly show the parents the absence of such a malformation.

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