Document Detail

Pathophysiology of increased nuchal translucency: a review of the literature.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  12751779     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
First-trimester nuchal translucency (NT) measurement is a widely used technique to determine the risk of fetal aneuploidy. The aim of this review was to explore the different hypotheses on the aetiology of increased NT. Using a computerized database (PubMed), articles on the aetiology of first-trimester NT were retrieved. Furthermore, the cited references of the studied articles were used to find additional articles. Based on ultrasonographic and post-mortem morphological studies, the findings in increased NT fetuses are described and classified into three categories. First, an association between increased NT and cardiac abnormalities, combined with abnormal ductus venosus flow velocities, is found, leading to the theory that cardiac failure causes NT enlargement. Second, various types of abnormalities are found in the extracellular matrix of the nuchal skin of fetuses with increased NT. Third, abnormal lymphatic development is demonstrated in fetuses with increased NT. In conclusion, many hypotheses on NT enlargement are based on associations and speculations. This report provides an overview of the different theories and an attempt to fit the different associations and findings into a single hypothesis of abnormal embryological development.
Monique C Haak; John M G van Vugt
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Human reproduction update     Volume:  9     ISSN:  1355-4786     ISO Abbreviation:  Hum. Reprod. Update     Publication Date:    2003 Mar-Apr
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2003-05-19     Completed Date:  2003-08-15     Revised Date:  2007-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9507614     Medline TA:  Hum Reprod Update     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  175-84     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
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MeSH Terms
Congenital Abnormalities / embryology,  genetics,  ultrasonography
Extracellular Matrix / physiology
Fetus / physiopathology*
Gestational Age
Heart Defects, Congenital / physiopathology,  ultrasonography
Lymphatic System / abnormalities,  embryology,  ultrasonography
Models, Biological
Neck / ultrasonography*
Ultrasonography, Prenatal*

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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