• Fetal Echocardiography;
  • Screening Fetal Sonography;
  • Three-Vessel View;
  • Ventricular Outflow Tracts;
  • Great Arteries


The three-vessel view is a transverse view of the fetal upper mediastinum is as simple to obtain as the four-chamber view. It demonstrates the main pulmonary artery, ascending aorta and superior vena cava in cross- or oblique sections. The purposes of this study were to describe the normal anatomy of the three-vessel view and to analyze what anatomical changes would occur in this view when there are lesions of the ventricular outflow tracts and/or great arteries. Sonograms of 29 fetuses with lesions involving the ventricular outflow tracts and/or great arteries were reviewed. Three-vessel views were evaluated in terms of vessel size, number, arrangement and alignment.

Twenty-eight of 29 fetuses showed an abnormal three-vessel view that included abnormal vessel size (n = 12), abnormal alignment (n = 8), abnormal arrangement (n = 7) and abnormal vessel number (n = 3). The vessel size was abnormal in obstructive lesions of the right (n = 4) or the left (n = 8) side of the heart. An abnormal alignment was seen in tetralogy of Fallot (n = 6) and double-outlet right ventricle (n = 2) that showed anterior displacement of the aorta. An abnormal arrangement was seen in complete (n = 4) and corrected (n = 1) transpositions, double-outlet right ventricle (n = 1) and pulmonary atresia with ventricular septal defect (n = 1). Only two vessels were seen in truncus arteriosus (n = 1). Four vessels were seen in persistent left superior vena cava (n = 2). A fetus with pulmonary atresia and intact ventricular septum showed a normal three-vessel view.

In conclusion, most of the lesions involving the ventricular outflow tracts and/or great arteries showed an abnormal three-vessel view. Copyright © 1997 International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology