What is a Nuchal Translucency Test?


The nuchal translucency (NT) test is an important part of your routine antenatal care. It is a screening test performed during your private pregnancy scan in London that can tell us if your baby is at higher risk of certain disorders. Although the NT test can’t diagnose these conditions for certain, it can help us to decide whether you might need additional tests.


How the NT Test is Done

The nuchal translucency test can be performed as part of the private pregnancy scan you will have at the London clinic between about 11-13 weeks. The sonographer will take various measurements of your baby during the scan, to check that he or she is growing and developing well. One of the measurements will assess the amount of fluid at the back of your baby’s neck. This is the nuchal translucency and it can be larger in babies that are affected by certain conditions, such as Down’s syndrome.


What Your NT Results Mean

The results of the NT scan will be used to estimate the risk of your baby having a condition such as Down’s, Edward’s or Patau’s syndromes. Other factors such as your age will also be taken into account. If your risk for Down’s syndrome is 1 in 1000, it means that one in every 1000 babies with the same risk level will be born with this condition. A risk of 1 in 150 or worse is considered high.

However, it is important to remember that:

  • Most babies in the high risk group won’t be born with the condition
  • Babies who are considered at low risk may still have a condition like Down’s syndrome
  • Many babies born with conditions like Down’s syndrome go on to enjoy full and happy lives

If your private pregnancy scan reveals that you are at higher risk of certain conditions, you will be able to discuss the results with your doctor at the London clinic. You might want to have a diagnostic test such as amniocentesis, CVS or a NIPT blood test to find out for sure if your baby is affected. You will also be able to learn more about the condition and get advice on your options.

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The contents on this site is for information only, and is not meant to substitute the advice of your own physician or other medical professional.