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:
- chromosomal anomalies
- congenital cardiovascular anomalies
- fetal pulmonary defects
- skeletal dysplasias
- congenital infection
- underlying metabolic and hematological disorders
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.
- 1. Entezami M, Albig M, Knoll U et-al. Ultrasound Diagnosis of Fetal Anomalies. Thieme. (2003) ISBN:1588902129. Read it at Google Books - Find it at Amazon
- 2. Ohno M, Kanenishi K, Kuno A et-al. Three-dimensional sonographic features of nuchal edema. Gynecol. Obstet. Invest. 2002;53 (2): 125-8. Gynecol. Obstet. Invest. (link) - Pubmed citation
- 3. Brun JL, Saura R, Horovitz J et-al. First trimester diagnosis of fetal nuchal edema. Report of 29 cases. Fetal. Diagn. Ther. 9 (4): 246-51. - Pubmed citation
- 4. Suchet IB. Ultrasonography of the fetal neck in the first and second trimesters. Part 2. Anomalies of the posterior nuchal region. Can Assoc Radiol J. 1995;46 (5): 344-52. - Pubmed citation
- 5. Bianchi DW, Crombleholme TM, D'Alton ME. Fetology, diagnosis & management of the fetal patient. McGraw-Hill Professional. (2000) ISBN:0838525709. Read it at Google Books - Find it at Amazon