Since the 1950s, the development of sonography as an imaging modality has assisted in improving the quality of various obstetrical examinations and allowed detailed viewing and evaluation of the fetus throughout pregnancy. Today, the use of sonography is an important component in modern prenatal care. During each trimester, sonography may be used to provide detailed images of fetal anatomy, growth, and structural information, as well as diagnose various complications and possible birth defects. As with any imaging modality, questions of its safety have been posed; however, if used with care, the benefits of sonography examination outweigh the potential risks. This article will focus on the development of sonography specifically for obstetrical imaging as well as discuss the various examinations, tests, and protocols for the use of sonography on the pregnant patient.
After reading this article, the participant should be able to:
- Outline the bioeffects and the impact of sonography on the fetus.
- List the clinical indications for sonography in the pregnant patient.
- State the role of sonography in each trimester of pregnancy.
- Identify a variety of required representative images of the fetus in a pregnant patient.
- Explain amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling.