NT Scan FAQs
What is Nuchal Translucency? (NT)
NT scans are an accredited screening process performed from 11 to 14+1 weeks of pregnancy. The fluid area behind the foetal neck is measured using ultrasound. The blood is measured for 2 naturally occurring hormones by the Fetal Medicine Centre’s laboratory. These blood results, combined with the ultrasound measurements determine the risk factor.
Who is eligible for NT Screening?
In accordance with NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) regulations, NT scans are initially the most accurate form of identifying Down’s Syndrome babies. There are no age restrictions to being screened. It is a personal choice and is available to everyone.
What is measured in the NT scan?
Ultrasound Plus NT Scans follow the standard NHS protocols and guidelines. The Nuchal Translucency measurements (NT), Crown Rump Length (CRL), Foetal Heart Rate (FHR) are measured. Your approximate weight and height will also be requested to help assist the sonographer. Further information is also requested during your nuchal translucency scan, such as whether you smoke during your pregnancy and if it is a natural/IVF pregnancy. These questions are asked to process the risk factor on the FMF software. No chromosomal markers will be examined.
How accurate are the results & what do they show?
At Ultrasound Plus, we assure 90 to 95% accuracy with the combined nuchal translucency ultrasound & blood screening (80% accuracy with only an ultrasound) – therefore, not all pregnancies with Down’s Syndrome may be detected. The NT screening and scan determines your risk of carrying a Down’s Syndrome baby or other similar types of chromosome abnormalities.
If you are classed as a high-risk patient, you can then receive further follow-up tests, like CVS (Chorionic Villous Sampling) or Amniocentesis. These follow-up tests will help determine the certainty of your pregnancy being affected by Down’s but are only recommended if necessary as they carry a small chance of miscarriage.
What happens if my results show I am a high-risk patient?
If your results indicate an increased risk of carrying a Down’s baby, this means your NT scan results, combined with your blood results and your age, gave you an approximate 1 in 150 or higher chance that your baby has Down’s Syndrome.
Ultrasound Plus will advise you to discuss your findings with your GP &/or midwife. If you wish, Ultrasound Plus can also provide you with details on where you can receive further follow up tests.
What if I fall outside the gestation period for a Nuchal Scan?
In such instances, we will charge you for a dating scan and rebook for a NT scan at a later date.
What if the baby is not in a good position?
If the baby is not in a good position during your nuchal translucency ultrasound, we will request you move around and our sonographers will attempt to re-scan you a maximum of 3 times. If this is unsuccessful, we will invite you back for one rescan at no extra cost.
Do I get charged for rescans?
At ultrasound plus, we are pleased to offer patients one rescan at no extra cost. We value the importance of the bonding experience for our patients and their families and due to circumstances beyond anyone’s control on the day of the scan, images may not always be obtainable. Hence, we have made it our policy to invite patients back at no extra charge.
Do I need to drink water before my scan?
Yes, we advise all patients drink at least 1 litre prior to their appointment as this will make it easier to see the baby.
What do I need to bring to my appointment?
If you have any doctors/hospital notes from your pregnancy, please bring these along to your NT scan as this will assist the sonographer if a referral is needed.
Will you advise me if my scan shows anything wrong?
Yes, if your scan indicates anything wrong we will discuss this with you fully and will provide a report you can forward to your GP/health practitioner.
Do I still need to visit the NHS if I had a scan with you?
Yes, our services are a complementary service which works alongside the NHS.
What happens in terms of referrals?
We advise all patients to let their GP/midwife know of their intention to have a scan with us. When you arrive at the Ultrasound plus clinic, we will ask you to complete a registration form which will request your GP/midwife details. If your NT scan shows a need to contact or share any information regarding you or your baby, you are responsible for providing the report to your GP/midwife.
If I have medical insurance, can I claim for my scans?
You will need to pay for your Ultrasound Plus scan directly and we will provide you with an invoice. We would advise you to check this with your insurance company first, as any claims made are between the patient and the insurance company.
How many people can accompany to my appointment?
You are welcome to bring up to five family and friends along to your appointment.