Level II Ultrasound:
    The Fetal Head and Neck

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    Sonographic finding(s)

    Differential Diagnosis


      Measurement of the Biparietal Diameter(BPD) and Head Circumference(HC)

      • The BPD is measured at the level of the thalami and cavum septi pellucidi from the outer edge of the skull table to the inner edge of the opposite skull table.
        • This view may be obtained by rotating the transducer 90 degrees from alignment with the fetal spine.  The contour should be smooth and oval .
        • There should be no midline shift.
        • The ventricular atrium should measure less than 10 mm in diameter.
        • The accuracy of the BPD in the second trimester is +/- 5 to 7 days.
      • The HC is measured at the same level as the BPD measuring from outer skull to outer skull.
      • The lateral ventricles may be visualized in a plane superior to the axial BPD view.
        • Measurement of the lateral ventricles is made  at the level of the atria of the occipital horns.
      • The third ventricle should appear as a slit-like structure between the thalami.

      Specific Anomalies
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    This page was last modified on: 11/30/2002