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Women's Imaging

Nuchal Translucency 

What is Nuchal Translucency?

Your physician, or midwife, has referred you for an ultrasound of your baby's nuchal translucency (NT). This area behind your baby's neck is only apparent between 11 weeks to 13 weeks, 6 days. A normal measurement of this area can eliminate the possibility of some fetal abnormalities. Immediately following the ultrasound, you will be asked to proceed to the Laboratory for a simple blood test.

How to Prepare for this Procedure:

  • Report to the Main Registration Desk 10 minutes prior to your appointment time to be registered for your ultrasound.
  • After Registration, you will check in at Radiology.
  • Please bring your health insurance information and the LAB REQUISITION form provided by your physician or midwife. WE CANNOT PERFORM THE TEST WITHOUT THIS INFORMATION.
  • You do not need to fill your bladder.

What to Expect During the Procedure:

  • The study is performed by an ultrasound technologist, certified in nuchal translucency screening.
  • The study is done by placing an ultrasound probe on your skin to view the baby.
  • Sometimes, it is necessary to perform the scan transvaginally, for better images of your baby.
  • There is no risk to you or your baby, and there should be no discomfort. If you have any discomfort, please tell the ultrasound technologist immediately.
  • The ultrasound technologist will measure your baby from the top of the head to the bottom of the spine, and the width of the nuchal translucency. The ultrasound technologist will record these measurements on your REQUISITION form that your physician or midwife will provide to you. This requisition form needs to be brought to the Laboratory, following your scan.
  • A radiologist trained in nuchal translucency screenings will review the images and the study with you.

Testing Time

  • This ultrasound scan takes approximately 30 minutes or less.

Risks of the Procedure

  • There are no known risks for this scan.

Following the Procedure

  • Proceed to the Laboratory for blood work immediately after your ultrasound scan. Please bring your REQUISITION form with you.  

Results of this Procedure

  • Your physician or midwife will discuss the results at your next appointment.

To schedule and/or reschedule an appointment, please call Beverly Hospital Radiology at 978-922-3000 ext. 2397. For all other questions, please contact your physician or midwife.