Genetic ultrasound is used to evaluate a fetus that is at risk for chromosomal problems (like Down syndrome) or other genetic problems. It is typically used in combination with blood tests to identify patients who are at higher risk for having babies with these problems.
The genetic ultrasound typically consists of two studies. The first study is done around 11-13 weeks and attention is paid to the back of the baby’s neck and nose. A second ultrasound is done at approximately 20 weeks and all the organs are evaluated with careful evaluation of the brain, face, spine, heart, intestines, kidneys and extremities.
Typical indications for genetic ultrasound include advanced maternal age, a previous baby with a genetic problem, an abnormal finding on a previous ultrasound, and abnormal screening blood tests. No dangerous fetal effects have been described with the use of genetic ultrasound.
The genetic ultrasounds are typically performed by experienced sonographers and/or our doctor, all of which are board certified in obstetrical ultrasounds.