This page links to all ultrasound movies of live normal human embryos. Ultrasound imaging began in the 1950's but it was only with the application of computer analysis beginning in the 1980's that more detailed images could be generated.
Parents now commonly see ultrasound movies or images in the first trimester and clinically this is a non-invasive prenatal diagnostic tool for detection of abnormalities as well as a method of staging (ageing) and checking growth. There are several different standards available for calculating age based upon several measurements, including embryo or fetal crown rump length (CRL).
Ultrasound can also be used in combination with other techniques to locate both embryo and placenta for other prenatal tests (More? prenatal diagnosis).
The ultrasound technique can be used at any stage during pregnancy for embryo and placenta monitoring.
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|Movie shows a 12 week fetus in 3d in realtime (hence 4D). Page | Play|
The ultrasound movies can be viewed in two ways. Firstly, click the image or text link opens a new page with both the movie and a more detailed text description of features. Secondly, clicking on the quicktime link will open the movie alone on a new page. At the bottom of this current page is further ultrasound information and links to internet ultrasound sites.
Abnormal developmental ultrasound and features are listed on a separate page (More? abnormal ultrasound) all content is for educational use only.
Special thanks to Dr Andrew McLennan, Foetal Medicine Unit, Royal North Shore Hospital for the original video materials.
- Diagnosis Links: Prenatal Diagnosis | Pregnancy Test | Amniocentesis | Chorionic villus sampling | Ultrasound | Alpha-Fetoprotein | Pregnancy-associated plasma protein-A | Fetal Blood Sampling | Magnetic Resonance Imaging | Computed Tomography | Preimplantation Genetic Screening | Comparative Genomic Hybridization | Neonatal Diagnosis | Category:Prenatal Diagnosis | Fetal Surgery | Category:Neonatal Diagnosis | Abnormal Ultrasound | original Ultrasound page
Some Recent Findings
|(a) 24 weeks (b) 27.5 weeks (c - d) 32 weeks. ||(a) 28 weeks neutral face (b) 33 weeks (c) 32.5 weeks (d) 33 weeks.|
Three dimensional (3D) ultrasound scan images are generated from a series of images in 3 different planes. The image shows a 12 week fetal ultrasound images in the sagittal, axial and coronal planes that are used by the computer to generate the final 3D image in the lower right. Computers are able to generate these images in realtime, therefore in addition to static pictures, realtime 4D movies can be generated.
The heart is the first organ in the embryo that can be easily ultrasound visualised by its contractility. The absence of contractility also being a early diagnosis of embryo/fetal demise or trophoblastic disease.
The use of ultrasound at later stages of heart development in the mid-1980's began to be used as a diagnostic tool for congenital cardiac abnormalities.
The term "soft markers" refers to ultrasound measurements which may not be diagnostic by themselves, but can have an indicative role for further diagnostic analysis of the pregnancy.
The Diagnostic Imaging Committee of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada in 2005 made the following recommendations:
- The screening ultrasound at 16 to 20 weeks should evaluate 8 markers, 5 of which (thickened nuchal fold, echogenic bowel, mild ventriculomegaly, echogenic focus in the heart, and choroid plexus cyst) are associated with an increased risk of fetal aneuploidy, and in some cases with nonchromosomal problems, while 3 (single umbilical artery, enlarged cisterna magna, and pyelectasis) are only associated with an increased risk of nonchromosomal abnormalities when seen in isolation (II-2 B).
- Identification of soft markers for fetal aneuploidy requires correlation with other risk factors, including history, maternal age, and maternal serum testing results (II-1 A).
- Soft markers identify a significant increase in fetal risk for genetic disease. Timely referral for confirmation, counselling, and investigation is required to maximize management options (III-B).
Doppler ultrasound is a noninvasive measure of blood flow and blood pressure by bouncing ultrasound off circulating red blood cells. Originally used for fetal heart beat detection, more recently used diagnostically in uterine, placental, ductus venosus and other fetal blood vessels.
Doppler effect is due to the movement of blood cells causing a change in pitch of the reflected sound waves.
Ultrasound imaging began in the 1950's but it was only with the application of computer analysis beginning in the 1980's that more detailed images could be generated. The increasing quality of ultrasonic equipment and computing allows today realtime 3D scans and calculations of fetal measurements as well as doppler measurement of heart rates.
In medical research there have been recent developments that allow spatial high resolution down to 30 microns in real-time.
Other Imaging Techniques
There are a range of other imaging techniques to study development and used in developmental research.
Other developmental research imaging techniques include:
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging
- Computed Tomography
- high frequency ultrasound or High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU)
- positron emission tomography (PET)
- single photon emission computed tomography
- optical bioluminescence
- ↑ S C Westerway, A Davison, S Cowell Ultrasonic fetal measurements: new Australian standards for the new millennium. Aust N Z J Obstet Gynaecol: 2000, 40(3);297-302 PMID:11065037
- ↑ G E Chalouhi, J P Bernard, G Benoist, B Nasr, Y Ville, Laurent J Salomon A comparison of first trimester measurements for prediction of delivery date. J. Matern. Fetal. Neonatal. Med.: 2011, 24(1);51-7 PMID:20350241
- ↑ A Ebrashy, A El Kateb, M Momtaz, A El Sheikhah, M M Aboulghar, M Ibrahim, M Saad 13-14-week fetal anatomy scan: a 5-year prospective study. Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol: 2010, 35(3);292-6 PMID:20205205
- ↑ Olivier Picone, Isabelle Simon, Alexandra Benachi, Francis Brunelle, Pascale Sonigo Comparison between ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging in assessment of fetal cytomegalovirus infection. Prenat. Diagn.: 2008, 28(8);753-8 PMID:18551722
- ↑ E Araujo Júnior, H A G Filho, C R Pires, S M Zanforlin Filho, A F Moron Prenatal diagnosis of vasa previa through color Doppler and three-dimensional power Doppler ultrasonography. A case report. Clin Exp Obstet Gynecol: 2006, 33(2);122-4 PMID:16903253
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Reissland N, Francis B, Mason J, Lincoln K (2011) Do Facial Expressions Develop before Birth? PLoS ONE 6(8): e24081. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0024081 PLoS One
- ↑ G R DeVore The prenatal diagnosis of congenital heart disease--a practical approach for the fetal sonographer. J Clin Ultrasound: 1985, 13(4);229-45 PMID:3923046
- ↑ Michiel C Van den Hof, R Douglas Wilson, Diagnostic Imaging Committee, Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada, Genetics Committee, Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada Fetal soft markers in obstetric ultrasound. J Obstet Gynaecol Can: 2005, 27(6);592-636 PMID:16100637
Prenatal Diagnosis Terms
- false negative rate - The proportion of pregnancies that will test negative given that the congenital anomaly is present.
- false positive rate - The proportion of pregnancies that will test positive given that the congenital anomaly is absent.
- negative predictive value - The probability that a congenital anomaly is absent given that the prenatal screening test is negative.
- positive predictive value - The probability that a congenital anomaly is present given that the prenatal screening test is positive.
- pre-implantation genetic diagnosis - (PGD) a screening procedure for embryos produced through in vitro fertilisation (IVF) for genetic diseases that would generate developmental abnormalities or serious postnatal diseases.
- prenatal screening sensitivity - (detection rate) The probability of testing positive on a prenatal screening test if the congenital anomaly is present.
- prenatal screening specificity - The probability of testing negative on a prenatal screening test if the congenital anomaly is absent.
- Biparietal diameter (BPD)
- Crown-Rump Length (CRL)
- Femur length - (FL) is used to determine fetal age and normal development (small/large/abnormal) parameters. The femur is the longest bone in the body and measurements and reflects the longitudinal growth of the fetus (approximately 14 weeks 1.5 cm - term 7.8 cm). It is one of the four typical ultrasound assessments of fetal size and age: Biparietal Diameter (BPD), Head Circumference (HC), Abdominal Circumference (AC), and Femur Length (FL).
- Functional linear discriminant analysis (FLDA) - new growth assessment technique using serial measurements to discriminate between normal and abnormal fetal growth.
- Head Circumference (HC)
- Gestational sac (GS) size
- inversion mode - an ultrasound processing method of volume analysis for the visualization of fluid-filled fetal structures such as; heart chambers, vessel lumen, stomach, gallbladder, renal pelvis, and the bladder. Post-processing inverts the gray scale of the volume voxels showing the normally anechoic structures in 3D or 4D renderings. This technique has been used to identify cardiac anomalies.
- Linear discriminant analysis (LDA) to longitudinal data (James and Hastie, 2001)
- Mean gestation sac diameter (MSD)
- Mean yolk sac diameter (MYD)
- Spatiotemporal image correlation (STIC) - an image acquisition method used mainly for fetal heart analysis. Requires two steps; an automatic volume sweep, then image data analysis according to spatial and temporal domain generating an online dynamic 3D image sequence.
- Transvaginal scan (TVS)
- Termination of pregnancy (TOP)
External Links Notice - The dynamic nature of the internet may mean that some of these listed links may no longer function. If the link no longer works search the web with the link text or name.
- Australian Society for Ultrasound Medicine - Guidelines For The Mid Trimester Obstetric Scan PDF (2005)
- American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography - ARDMS Resources for Students and Educators
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- Dr Mark Hill 2013, UNSW Embryology ISBN: 978 0 7334 2609 4 - UNSW CRICOS Provider Code No. 00098G