Revista Brasileira de Ginecologia e Obstetrícia
Print version ISSN 0100-7203
MAZZONI JUNIOR, Gui Tarcísio et al. Ultrasonographic assessment of fetal nasal bone: normal ranges throughout gestation. Rev. Bras. Ginecol. Obstet. [online]. 2006, vol.28, n.3, pp. 151-157. ISSN 0100-7203. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0100-72032006000300003.
PURPOSE: the absence of fetal nasal bone is correlated with trisomy 21. Although a hypoplastic nasal bone is also correlated with trisomy 21, there is no clear definition of this term in the literature. Our objective was to establish the reference values for fetal nasal bone size throughout gestation in a local population in Brazil. METHODS: it is a cross-sectional study on 902 fetuses at 10 to 39 weeks of gestation. After having excluded fetal malformations and maternal diseases which are known to interfere with fetal growth, 625 fetuses were selected. We obtained a mid-sagittal view of the fetal profile by holding the ultrasound bean at an angle of 45º or 135º. The nasal bone size mean was calculated by using polynomial regression. The Anderson-Darling test proved the normal distribution of the measurements (p>0.05). RESULTS: of the 625 fetuses, 88.3% were from single gestations and 11.7% from multiple ones. There was a direct correlation between fetal nasal bone size and gestational age. The variability of nasal bone size became larger as gestational age increased. Minimal length of 1.0 and 4.7 mm in the first and second trimesters, respectively, were found. CONCLUSIONS: there is a direct correlation between fetal nasal bone size and gestational age. This correlation is valid either for a single gestation or a multiple one. These measurements of the fetal nasal bone will allow us to use them as a screening test for cromosomal abnormalities. This is a useful study if we consider the large miscegenation of the Brazilian population. However, further systematic and standardized approach to study the fetal nasal bone is needed to establish its real value in fetuses once classified as at high or low risk for aneuploidies.
Keywords : Ultrasonography; prenatal; Nasal bone; Down syndrome; Aneuploidy; Reference values.