Ultrasound 4D


Description: A 4D-Ultrasound is a machine that not only takes 3D images, but adds time in as a factor. The result then, would be a live image, or video, of a fetus in the womb. It allows people to see the motions the baby is making at that exact moment. The 4D Ultrasound is a tremendous breakthrough in prenatal imaging. When the machine takes the 3D images, it is constantly and rapidly updating them to produce the live-action images.


The 4D Ultrasound uses sound waves and many different angles to create the baby's image. A 2D ultrasound only uses one angle at a time, and tends to just be a fuzzy outline of the baby. By adding the angles and the factor of time, parents can see their child's facial features and start to see some behaviors developing.


This new ultrasound has allowed us to better study fetal development in the womb. Before this technology doctors had always thought that fetus' eyelids were fused shut until about 26 weeks, but now we know that some have blinked and opened their eyes as early as 18 weeks.


Applications:

  • Detect age, development, and the sex of the fetus.

  • Can detect whether the fetus has a cleft lip, dwarfism, or other bone shape abnormalities.

  • Determines fetal well-being, heart function, malformations, and even neuro-myopathy genetic diseases.

  • Can be used to study fetal development.

  • Can be used for other medical factors besides obstetrics such as breast health, urology, internal medicine, and more.


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Related Terminology:

  • Prenatal: The process of growth and development within the womb, in which a single-cell zygote becomes an embryo, a fetus, and then a baby.

  • Sonogram: An image of an unborn fetus or an internal body organ produced by ultrasonography.

  • Fetus: The unborn offspring from the end of the 8th week after conception until birth. Up until the eighth week, the developing offspring is called an embryo.



Citations/References:

Mesko, Bertalan (2007) A crowded womb: 4D Ultrasound, Scienceroll.com

(2005) New medical 4D ultrasound technology rides wave of the future, Medicalnewstoday.com

(2004) Scans uncover secrets of the womb, news.bbc.co.uk

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