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Clin Obstet Gynecol. 2012 Mar;55(1):249-65. doi: 10.1097/GRF.0b013e3182446d65.

Fetal CNS scanning--less of a headache than you think.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Maternal-Fetal-Medicine, NYU School of Medicine, New York, New York, USA.


Anatomy, pathology, and developmental changes of the fetal central nervous system (brain and spine) can be studied by prenatal sonography, using a transabdominal, or, and preferably, later in pregnancy in a cephalic presenting fetus, a transvaginal approach, with the possibility of obtaining coronal and sagittal views through the acoustic window provided by the fontanels and sutures of the skull. In a 3-dimensional sonography, both approaches may generate images in all 3 classic scanning planes (longitudinal, sagittal, and coronal). Guidelines exist concerning standard fetal anatomical survey, which includes fetal brain and spine as well as specific central nervous system examination, both basic and advanced. Normal anatomy of the fetal brain and spine in their various planes will be described with only few details on congenital anomalies.

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