Ultrasonic examinations between the 19th and 22nd week of pregnancy can detect many developmental disorders, among them a number of foetal malformations and diseases. The criteria of the assessment are, for example, the face, head, spine, abdominal wall, extremities and individual foetal organs. An ultrasonic examination with normal results confirms with high probability a normal development of the foetal organ; however, it can never exclude disorders in the foetal development with certainty.
Even when the examination is carried out with high-quality devices and utmost care by an experienced doctor, it cannot be expected that all malformations and modifications can be detected at any time during pregnancy because some anomalies only develop during the course of pregnancy. The assessment of the unborn child may be difficult due to unfavourable examination conditions, e.g. low level of amniotic fluid, unfavourable position of the child, too early or too late in pregnancy, strong maternal abdominal wall, scars. Thus, a residual risk at a percent level for developmental disorders still remains.
If a malformation is diagnosed, we can offer you cooperation with experts in the respective field (e.g. paediatricians, paediatric cardiologists, human geneticists, psychologists).
fig.: normal four-chamber view of the foetal heart in the 20th week of pregnancy