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Nuchal fold of 3.5mm at 13 wks, what are the possibilities? Bit confused...

(14 Posts)
NinkyNonker Mon 24-Oct-11 19:51:13

Well as per title really, at our 13 wk scan for dc2 I was told that the nuchal fold measurement was 3.5cm which is the cut off for 'normal'. I had to talk to a midwife who will call tomorrow with the blood results which will give me the results of the combined screening, if the odds are high for Downs I have to decide whether to have an amnio, they could do it on Fri.

If it isn't Downs it could be a structural problem with the heart, which we won't know for a while but if odds don't indicate Downs I would need to see a fetal cardio specialist in 4 wks or so.

Equally it could be nothing. 3.5 is on the cusp and they struggled to get that measurement anyway so it could be wrong. I'm 30 with no other risk factors, so all a bit of a shock.

The little one was wriggling away and everything looked structurally fine according to the sonographer, including a very obvious and strong heart beat.

So now I feel a bit crap and not sure how worried to be really. Has anyone else had similar?

OliviaTwist Mon 24-Oct-11 20:56:13

I know this is the most pointless thing I could say, but try not to worry!

3.5mm is the cut off where I live as well, I think 3.5mm is the 95th centile.

Mine was 4.6mm at 12+0 which is very high, well beyond 99th centlie.

I had an amnio at 16 weeks, and that was all normal. DS is now 6 mo and seems absolutely fine.

So, while it could mean something, it could equally mean absolutely nothing at all.....

Wingdingdong Mon 24-Oct-11 21:50:17

Mine was 4.2 plus a cystic hygroma (fluid-filled sac on the neck) of 9mm. The prognosis was extremely poor. We opted to go for non-invasive tests first (cardiac, full fetal medicine scan) rather than CVS, and then when those showed nothing and we realised only amnio could give us an answer, we did that. Everything so far has been totally clear. In fact, the cystic hygroma has disappeared, and the nuchal fold measured 6.2mm at the last appt, as against an average of 6mm for this gestation stage (now 22w), so basically the enlargement is now considered insignificant.

We're going for the second cardiac scan tomorrow, but have been told that this will be checking for minor abnormalities only (major ones already ruled out) and "nothing that's not fixable". If nothing, we'll be discharged from cardiac. We don't see fetal medicine again till 32w, just for a growth/monitoring scan.

Btw - do you mean amnio on Friday? Or CVS? Only it would be pretty early for amnio - they won't do them here before 16w, whereas they do CVS up to 14w. CVS has a higher rate of miscarriage, though rates of miscarriage vary across hospitals/doctors. Check the Antenatal Results and Choices website ( for explanations. I was told that the stats for miscarriage are pretty old - taken from NHS studies of ten years ago - so almost certainly the real risk is lower. Depends how long you can deal with uncertainty on the chromosomal front.

Good luck, and as above - try not to worry though I know that's virtually impossible (see my thread somewhere on this board!). We were told that with 4.2mm, the nuchal fold alone, ignoring the much worse hygroma, gave us a 1 in 3 chance of chromosomal disorders (they didn't do bloods at that level). That's still a 67% chance that everything would be fine. I'd be buying a lottery ticket with odds of 67%. Your outlook is better than that! smile Good luck.

PiggyMad Mon 24-Oct-11 22:17:47

I posted a couple of weeks ago as mine was on the high side of normal 3.2mm, so not quite as high as yours, but it was a real shock and worry.
The midwives told me anything ABOVE 3.5mm is a slight concern, and from my research it seems that babies with major issues tend to have double the 'normal' size - slight increases in the majority of cases result in absolutely no problems.
I got my results back last week and with age/bloods/nuchal, my results came back as 1:25,814!
I really hope everything is fine for you and just want to emphasize that it is in the normal range and a slight increase does not automatically lead to you being high risk.

NinkyNonker Tue 25-Oct-11 08:14:33

Thanks for replying everyone, I really appreciate it. I'm veering between tears when I think of this tiny wriggling picture on the screen and the thought there may be something 'wrong', and then feeling guilty cause as DH is still our baby regardless. Then I veer towards feeling philosophical and sure everything is fine. Not sure where I am at the mo!

I feel awful though, I had been feeling awful that I wasn't as overwhelmingly excited and all consumed as I was with Dd, and didn't really feel that attached to the baby. But now I want nothing more than for it to be fine. sad

Just have to wait for the call now, should be today.

OliviaTwist Tue 25-Oct-11 08:28:13

Unfortunately the call for me gave me a 1 in 3 combined with bloods. BUT - DS is still fine. It's only a number which doesn't tell you anything definatively.

I know exactly how you feel and it is horrendous. This all happened almost exactly a year ago to me.

Good luck xx

NinkyNonker Tue 25-Oct-11 08:36:48

True, I guess even 1 in 3 is still more likely not!

NinkyNonker Tue 25-Oct-11 08:36:49

True, I guess even 1 in 3 is still more likely not!

PiggyMad Tue 25-Oct-11 09:27:19

I hope everything goes ok today.

Belgrano Tue 25-Oct-11 09:42:04

We had this 2 years ago. My son's was 4.2mm and when they factored in the bloods it came out as 1:46 risk of Downs, and a slightly lower risk of the others they test for. So it was high but not as high as some who have posted on here. I thought that was too high to live with for 6 months not knowing so I had a CVS at 12 wks by the amazing Professor Nikolaides (Fetal Medicine Centre) and the baby was fine.
He is now a chuckling, running around 2 year old and all fine. I really hope yours is too, its so terribly frightening but just to let you know it can be ok and my thoughts are with you.
Good luck and everything is crossed for you. Let us know.

NinkyNonker Tue 25-Oct-11 11:49:15

Argh, phone just rang and I got all excited but it was an estate agent phoning to tell me about a new house they'd taken on. I hope she couldnt hear the disappointment in my voice! grin

NinkyNonker Tue 25-Oct-11 15:59:03

Well they phoned, and the risk is 1:224 which she described as low. Apparently the default risk (presumably for my age etc?) is 1:800 something, but she said this was low enough as to be negligible. Phew!

3.5mm isn't big enough for a default cardiac appt so the consultant will look at the pics on Fri and decide if he wants to see us or not, or just wait until the 20 week scan.

So, a reprieve for now!!

PiggyMad Tue 25-Oct-11 16:07:35

Sounds like great news! What a relief for you. Bet you could do with a nice brew

Belgrano Tue 25-Oct-11 21:30:11

Oh good! That's really good news. Very happy for you. Phew!

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