Learning curve for sonographic examination of the fetal nasal bone at 11-14 weeks

Ultrasound in Obstetrics & Gynecology : the Official Journal of the International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology
S CiceroK H Nicolaides

Abstract

To determine the number of ultrasound examinations necessary for training sonographers to examine accurately the fetal nasal bone at 11-14 weeks' gestation. Fifteen sonographers with experience in measuring nuchal translucency were asked to examine the nasal bone during the routine 11-14-week scan. The supervising doctor recorded if the sonographer succeeded in obtaining the correct image. Each sonographer performed a total of 140 examinations, and the data were analyzed in seven groups of 20 examinations. In a second study, two sonographers with extensive experience in examining the nasal bone examined independently 100 consecutive patients at a median fetal crown-rump length of 65 (45-84) mm and median gestational age of 12 (11-14) weeks and recorded whether the nasal bone was absent or present. In the first group of 20 examinations, there was failure to obtain the correct image of the fetal profile in 1-5 (median, 4) cases. In the subsequent three groups, there was failure to obtain the correct image in 0-3 (median, 1) cases. In the fifth and sixth groups failure occurred in 0-2 (median, 0) cases and in the seventh group all sonographers obtained successful images of the fetal profile in all cases. One sonographer obtained s...Continue Reading

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