3D/4D ultrasound is a three-dimensional image by scanning the studied object in three dimensions. A distinctive feature of the 4D study is to obtain an ultrasound image in real time. Although a number of diagnosticians believe these methods are only suitable for the creation of fetal portrait of a baby (“prenatal painting”), they have a strong place in prenatal diagnosis.
What do 3D and 4D ultrasound
At the present time three-dimensional ultrasound is used for:
- 1. Refine your diagnostic findings in normal (routine) 2D ultrasound.
- 2. Conduct three-dimensional echocardiography (the study of the fetal heart in 3D/4D mode).
- 3. More accurate diagnosis of congenital problems of development due to the possibility of obtaining three-dimensional image.
- 4. “Prenatal painting (parents receive a CD with surround photos and videos of her future baby).
- 5. Three-dimensional sonography according to the testimony being used from the earliest stages of pregnancy. When conducting the first trimester ultrasound it can be useful when using conventional two-dimensional ultrasound is impossible to obtain a complete picture of the number of structures of the embryo/fetus. This is particularly important when assessing signs (markers) chromosomal abnormalities, in particular nuchal thickness
Part of fetuses with ultrasound examination of the first trimester are at the time of the study in an uncomfortable position, but three-dimensional reconstruction image allows you to choose the right place to define this parameter. When the boundary values of NT (if the upper limit of normal values, which have many fruits with down syndrome) this helps to avoid false-positive or false-negative results. Such markers of chromosomal anomalies, hypoplasia (underdevelopment of a tissue, organ, part of an organ as a result of violations of embryogenesis) bones of the nose and/or ears, also better diagnosed using three-dimensional ultrasound.
Useful is the use of 3D ultrasound in early diagnosis of serious disease of the nervous system of the fetus, in particular spina bifida (a disease caused by the incomplete closure of the neural tube), so as to look at the spine in all planes of scanning more informative and clear.
Upon detection of diseases of the musculoskeletal system (skeletal dysplasias) during a routine ultrasound is additionally used three-dimensional sonography, as obtaining all possible slices allows a more objective assessment of the disease. Also, when performing 3D is easier to study the number of fingers on the arms and legs, their position and shape.
In the second and third trimester 3D ultrasound is used as a method of clarifying diagnosis after 2D studies. The part of the structures of the fetal brain (e.g. corpus callosum) in 20-24 weeks to evaluate technically difficult, especially in an uncomfortable position of the fetus, then it helps to study three-dimensional image. In the second and third trimester, it is important to study the person as fully 3D reconstructs not only all of the patterns, and behavioral responses in real time (4D). Three-dimensional sonography is significantly superior to conventional 2D ultrasound in the diagnosis of congenital problems (for example, cleft lip).
The important role of 3D/4D plays in the study of the heart, because of congenital disease – one of the most frequent, but not always diagnosed in the antenatal period.
The fact that the heart is constantly moving body, so to study it technically difficult. And the combination of the three-dimensional image with the study in time greatly facilitates the definition of pathology. The use of these technologies enables you to define a number of diseases in the late first or early second trimester. In addition to the detection of anatomical defects such research is important for the study of blood flow.
2D, 3D and 4D ultrasound: what’s the difference?
In obstetric practice, the following modes of ultrasound:
2D ultrasound is ultrasound with obtaining a two-dimensional black and white image – width (rarely in the literature write: “a study on the length) and height.
3D ultrasound – adds the third dimension – obtained three-dimensional image.
4D ultrasound is obtaining three-dimensional image in time. That is, the ability to write to disk the study in real-time.
Harmful 3D/4D ultrasound?
Before performing 3D/4D studies it is important to set specific goals to reduce the time of diagnosis. It should also be understood that if the 2D ultrasound were carefully examined all the basic structures, it makes no sense to use other technologies.
Ultrasonic wave may have on the surrounding tissue following effects:
– heat (i.e. heating of tissues). Overheating of tissues strongly affects the bone tissue;
– no heat (cavitation – the formation of bubbles). With the possible destruction of the surrounding tissues;
– ultrasound, used in diagnosis, in regular 2D mode because of the small power does not lead to tissue damage. When using 3D/4D mode radiation power above, but proven harm from ultrasonography is not. So the use of the information obtained during the study should be longer than the potential harm.
Thus, 3D/4D ultrasound is a good tool in the daily practice of medical ultrasound, but the conventional two-dimensional ultrasound continues to be important in the diagnosis of problems of development of the fetus.