Nuchal translucency (NT) screening is a non-invasive screening test used to determine the risk of Down syndrome. It can be performed early in pregnancy, between 11-1/2 and 13 weeks, and is available to women of all ages.
How is NT screening performed?
NT screening is a high-resolution ultrasound examination of the baby’s nuchal area (a fold of skin at the back of the neck). The results are combined with the mother’s age to determine the risk for Down syndrome.
Will the test detect all cases of Down syndrome?
The detection rate for Down syndrome is about 80 percent for NT screening. A woman then has the option of undergoing CVS or amniocentesis for a more definitive diagnosis.
Will this test identify Spina Bifida?
No. The ultrasound is performed too early to reliably detect this disorder.
Can you get NT screening anywhere?
No. The screening is only available at centers that have been trained by and participate in ongoing quality assurance programs sponsored by the Fetal Medicine Foundation in London.