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J Perinat Med. 2015 Mar;43(2):147-58. doi: 10.1515/jpm-2014-0157.

Novel application of three-dimensional HDlive imaging in prenatal diagnosis from the first trimester.

Abstract

Recent development of three-dimensional (3D) high definition (HD) ultrasound has resulted in remarkable progress in visualization of early embryos and fetuses in sonoembryology. The new technology of HDlive assesses both structural and functional developments in the first trimester with greater reliably than two-dimensional (2D) ultrasound. The ability to visualize not only fetal face, hands, fingers, feet, and toes, but also amniotic membranes, is better with volumetric ultrasound than 2D ultrasound. In this article, detailed and comprehensive structures of normal and abnormal fetuses depicted by 3D HDlive are presented, including various faces of Down's syndrome and holoprosencephaly, as well as low-set ear and finger/toe abnormalities from the first trimester. Three-dimensional HDlive further "humanizes" the fetus, enables detailed observation of the fetal face in the first trimester as shown in this article, and reveals that a small fetus is not more a fetus but a "person" from the first trimester. There has been an immense acceleration in understanding of early human development. The anatomy and physiology of embryonic development is a field where medicine exerts greatest impact on early pregnancy at present, and it opens fascinating aspects of embryonic differentiation. Clinical assessment of those stages of growth relies heavily on 3D/four-dimensional (4D) HDlive, one of the most promising forms of noninvasive diagnostics and embryological phenomena, once matters for textbooks are now routinely recorded with outstanding clarity. New advances deserve the adjective "breathtaking", including 4D parallel study of the structural and functional early human development.

PMID:
25014518
DOI:
10.1515/jpm-2014-0157
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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