Nuchal Translucency PLUS Ultrasound

All women, whatever their age, have a small risk of delivering a baby with physical and/or intellectual disability. Sometimes the disability is due to a chromosomal abnormality such as Down syndrome.

What is NT-PLUS?
The combination of an ultrasound test called a Nuchal Translucency (NT) scan and a simple blood test at around 12 weeks is revolutionizing the way we test for foetal abnormality. The two tests combined are called NT-PLUS. The addition of the blood test improves detection of Down syndrome compared with NT ultrasound alone. Nuchal Translucency measurement alone can detect 75 – 80% of Down syndrome pregnancies. If you also have the special blood test, this detection rate increases to 85 – 90%.

What are the benefits of NT-PLUS?

  • Highest detection rate of any “no risk” test for chromosome abnormality
  • Accurate dating of the pregnancy
  • Diagnosis of multiple pregnancy
  • Diagnosis of early pregnancy failure

The test suggests which pregnancies are at a higher risk of abnormality and may need further investigation. A normal result does not guarantee a normal baby but does imply that an abnormality is unlikely. An abnormal result does not mean the baby is abnormal but suggests the baby should be further investigated.

Preparing for Nuchal Translucency Ultrasound examination
You will need to make an appointment for this examination. The blood test (which we help you to arrange with a pathology clinic) is recommended between 10 to 13 weeks of pregnancy. The Ultrasound scan (with Qscan Kingston) is then performed ideally at 12 weeks (12 to 13 weeks) of pregnancy, but no later than 13 weeks 6 days of pregnancy. You will be asked to drink fluids to fill your bladder prior to the ultrasound.
You may be asked to change into a gown. Our sonographer will perform the examination, which takes about 20-30 minutes.

Once your blood test report becomes available from the pathology laboratory, a combined NT –PLUS report is generated and sent to your referring doctor.

Please note that if your blood test results are delayed by the pathology laboratory, we cannot complete our Combined Risk report. To avoid this, it is advisable to have your FTS Blood Screening performed at 10 weeks.

You will receive images on a CD for your records. Our Radiologists discuss any urgent or serious reports directly with your doctor.

You must arrange to see your referring doctor to receive your result, discuss your report and manage your pregnancy.