Late Spring 2006
Ask The Expert: High-Tech Ultrasound
 
High-Tech Ultrasound
 
Robert Stiller, MD

I’m three months pregnant, and I’ve been reading about 3D and 4D fetal ultrasounds. What are they, and what are the advantages over regular ultrasound? Should I ask for one?

Perinatologist Robert Stiller, MD, Chief of Maternal- Fetal Medicine at Bridgeport Hospital, responds:

Three-dimensional (3D) and four-dimensional (4D) ultrasounds are both sophisticated technologies that produce a more life-like image of the infant. The difference between the two is that 3D images are still photographs, while 4D images show the baby moving.

Perinatologists (experts in high-risk pregnancies) in Bridgeport Hospital’s Antenatal Testing Unit use these advanced images as an addition to standard ultrasound (2D) when the baby is being evaluated in the womb.

For example, 3D/4D ultrasounds give a better image of the baby’s features when a perinatologist is concerned about abnormalities of the lip, hands or feet. These more detailed images may also help you understand what the physician is seeing.

Doctors recommend that these 3D/4D ultrasounds should be performed as part of a complete ultrasound exam when there are concerns about the fetal anatomy. An added bonus is that 3D/4D ultrasound provides patients with a detailed image for them to cherish.