Minor sonographic signs of trisomy 21 at 15–20 weeks' gestation in fetuses born without malformations: a prospective study



A prospective study was performed on 2119 pregnancies that underwent genetic amniocentesis. Indications for amniocentesis were either maternal age (⩾35) or triple-test results (risk⩾1/380).

The study covered a 36-month period and assessed the prevalence of minor ultrasound markers both in fetuses with Down syndrome and normal control fetuses at 15–19 week' gestation.

Only fetuses with normal karyotype or trisomy 21 were considered.

Six minor sonographic markers were considered: nuchal thickness, pyelectasia, femur observed/expected and humerus observed/expected ratios, bowel echogenicity, and choroid plexus cysts. One or more ultrasound soft markers were present in 23 out of 33 fetuses with Down syndrome (70%) and in 572 out of 2069 normal fetuses (28%). Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.