Korean J Obstet Gynecol.  1997 May;40(5):1013-1018.

Measurements of Fetal Nuchal Skinfold Thickness in Normal Fetuses during Second Trimester

  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Samsung Seoul Hospital, Samsung Medical Center, Seoul, Korea.


OBFECTIVE: A nuchal skinfold thickness measurement of >or=6mm is widely used as anonivasive tool in screening fetuses with Down syndrome. The aim of this study is to obtainnormative data on the nuchal skinfold thickness in chromosomally normal fetuses duringsecond trimester. METHOD: Fetal nuchal skinfold thickness was measured in the suboccipitobregmaticplan as part of second trimester ultrasonography. Three hundred thirtyfive fetuses,confirmed to be without chromosomal abnormality through evaluation by amniocentesisand/or postnatal examination, were included. RESULT: The mean of measurements increased from 2.74mm to 5.30mm between 15Weeks and 26 weeks of gestation. The measurements of fetal nuchal kinfold thicknesscorrelated linearly with gestational age(y=-1.755+0.29, r(2)=0.406, p=0.0001). Fetal genderhad no influence on this measurement. In contrast to the fact that three of 271 fetuses at or=21 weeks showed nuchal thickness measurement of >or=6mm.
During second trimester, measurements of fetal nuchal skinfold thicknessincreases as a function of gestational age in normal fetuses. There were no influence offetal gender and no ethnic difference from other countries in this measurement at 15~20weeks of gestation. However, measurements of fetal nuchal skinfold thickness >or=6mm asa screening tool for Down syndrome seems to be confined to fetuses at 15~20 weeks` gestation.


Nuchal skinfold thickness; Ultrasonography; Normal pregnancy; Down syndrome
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