SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • Down syndrome;
  • nasal bone measurement;
  • screening;
  • second trimester;
  • trisomy 21

Abstract

Objective

To determine the potential value of sonographic measurement of fetal nasal bone at 19–22 weeks' gestation in screening for trisomy 21 in a low-risk population.

Methods

The fetal nasal bone was measured in a mid-sagittal view in 2035 fetuses at 19–22 weeks' gestation. A reference range was constructed and the measurements in fetuses with trisomy 21 were compared to the normal group.

Results

The fetal profile was successfully examined in 1913/2035 (94%) fetuses. The mean nasal bone length increased linearly with gestation from 6.2 mm at 19 weeks to 6.8 mm at 22 weeks. Nasal bone hypoplasia, defined by absence of the bone or a measurement below the 2.5th centile, was observed in 34/1899 (1.8%) chromosomally normal fetuses (1.8%), in 5/5 fetuses with trisomy 21 and in 0/9 fetuses with other chromosomal defects.

Conclusion

At 19–22 weeks' gestation, nasal bone hypoplasia is observed in a high proportion of trisomy 21 fetuses and in less than 2% of chromosomally normal fetuses. Copyright © 2003 ISUOG. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.