Ultrasound measurement of nuchal translucency (fetal neck)

Nuchal translucency is a collection of fluid on the neck or back of the fetus that can be measured by the ultrasound method. It is done between 11th and 14th week of pregnancy or when the fetal length is between 45mm and 84mm. The review takes about 20 minutes.


It is recommended that all pregnant women routinely perform this examination in order to detect Down’s syndrome early.


• As with any ultrasound examination, the doctor puts a special gel on the surface of the ultrasound probe. The probe is a small plastic device that sends and receives ultrasound waves and is placed on the patient’s abdomen. Gel has the role of improving the conductivity of ultrasonic waves and eliminating air between the skin and the probe.

• If this approach (transabdominal) cannot be performed adequately, nuchal translucency measurement can be accessed by another (transvaginal) approach. This approach means that the probe is placed in the vagina and that an examination is carried out in this way. An overview is not harmful to mother and baby and should not be unpleasant.


The examination does not carry a risk for the fetal or for the mother.


If your doctor asks you, you may need to drink 3-4 glasses of water for an hour and a half before examining (within half an hour) and then do not wet the bladder to be full and for this ultrasound examination to be done properly.