Fetal Structures and Abnormalities

Fetal anatomy can be visualized quite easily in the second and third trimesters. Identification of the fetal head, chest, abdomen, and extremities is possible even for those with little ultrasound experience. Most major fetal anomalies can be recognized if ultrasound examination is done during the twentieth week of gestation or beyond. More subtle abnormalities can be recognized when a specific anomaly is suspected and a targeted examination of a single anatomic region is performed. Most routine fetal ultrasound examinations and all targeted examinations are done by physicians who specialize in fetal sonography.

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