Fetal nuchal edema

Fetal nuchal edema is a term describing a swollen fetal cervical region. It can be thought of as a less severe form of a cystic hygroma.


It can arise from diverse causes including:  

Radiographic features

Antenatal ultrasound

Nuchal edema is considered significant if it covers the back and sides of the neck with more than 3 mm thickness up to the 14th week of gestation, and more than 4-6 mm later. Septations are absent (c.f cystic hygroma) 5.

It may either be seen in the 1st trimester as increased nuchal translucency or in the 2nd trimester as increased nuchal thickness.

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Article information

rID: 14681
System: Obstetrics
Tag: cases
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Nuchal oedema
  • Nuchal edema
  • Fetal nuchal edema
  • Fetal neck swelling

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