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The Nuchal Translucency (NT) is a collection of fluid under the skin at the back of the baby’s neck that can be measured using ultrasound. All babies have some fluid, but in many babies with Down’s syndrome, the NT is increased.

Nuchal Translucency ultrasounds are performed as early as 11weeks, 6 days to a maximum of 13 weeks, 6 days gestational age.

Along with serial blood tests, the NT ultrasound is a screening test that can estimate the risk of your baby having Down’s. In specific cases, it is offered along with blood tests to determine fetal risk for certain abnormalities. The NT ultrasound can help you decide whether or not to have a diagnostic test such as amniocenteses, which will give you a definite diagnosis but carries a small risk of miscarriage.

In order for the Medical Services Plan of British Columbia to cover this exam the patient must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  1. Over 35 years old at their expected date of delivery

  2. Multiple gestations (twins)

  3. History of a previous child or fetus with Down's Syndrome, Trisomy 13 or 18

  4. HIV positive

  5. Women pregnant following invitro fertilization (IVF) with intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).

If the patient does not qualify for MSP coverage, please call for current patient pay rate. Please note, BC Prenatal Genetic Screening Program states that Nuchal Translucency Ultrasound is not indicated for patients opting for private NIPT screening. For more detail, please consult with your physician.  

For more information please visit the BC Prenatal Genetic Screening Program's website.

To calculate how far along you are in your pregnancy you can use the BC Prenatal Genetic Screening's Pregnancy Dating Tool.

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