Ultrasound scans in multiple pregnancies
Multiple pregnancies belong to the group of high-risk pregnancies, because they are connected with increased risk of miscarriage, preterm delivery and fetal growth restriction. Moreover, monochorionic multiple pregnancies are at increased risk of structural congenital defects and due to the shared placenta also the risk of development of a disease called twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS) and twin-anaemia-polycythaemia-sequence (TAPS). There is also an increased risk of maternal complications such as pre-eclampsia, diabetes, anaemia and others
Because of these risks, multiple pregnancies need to be monitored particularly closely.
In all multiple pregnancies following scans are recommended:
- Estimation of chorionicity (individual placenta for every fetus or shared placenta). Chorionicity can be established accurately only in the first trimester, respectively until 14 gestational weeks. This information is crucial for estimation of the level of risk connected with pregnancy and the plan for regular follow-up scans.
- Nuchal translucency scan at 12 -14 gestational weeks including screening for pre-eclampsia and fetal growth restriction
- Genetic scan including fetal echocardiography at 20 – 23 weeks
- Screening for preterm delivery at 20 – 22 weeks
- Regular follow-up scans of fetal growth and amniotic fluid volume at intervals of about 4 weeks starting at 24 weeks
In monochorionic pregnancies with a shared placenta, these scans should be added:
Assessment of fetal growth, size of fetal bladders and amniotic fluid volume with Doppler examination of fetal vessels at interval of about 2 weeks starting at venosus at 16 weeks.
During the scan, we will keep you informed about the parts of fetal anatomy displayed on the screen.
At the end of the scan we will share with you fetal weights and describe growth on charts in the computer. We will also explain to you the result of the scan. In case of any abnormal finding we will explain to you prognosis and recommend further management.
The whole examination with counselling takes 75 – 90 minutes and you are welcome to bring your partner or someone close to accompany you through the examination. You will obtain 4 printed images of your baby and a detailed report with results will be sent to you by email within a week.