With advances of research on fetal behavioural development, the question of whether we can identify fetal facial expressions and determine their developmental progression, takes on greater importance. In this study we investigate longitudinally the increasing complexity of combinations of facial movements from 24 to 36 weeks gestation in a sample of healthy fetuses using frame-by-frame coding of 4-D ultrasound scans. Fifteen fetuses 8 girls, 7 boys were observed four times in the second and third trimester of pregnancy. Fetuses showed significant progress towards more complex facial expressions as gestational age increased. The study shows that one can determine the normal progression of fetal facial movements.
Mid-trimester fetal facial dysmorphology associated with 2p25.3 microdeletion
NMH fetal facial study by Grainne Flannelly - Issuu
Assorted ultrasound cases - by Joe Antony, MD. The above ultrasound images show a coronal section of the normal fetal face at 14 weeks gestation , with the fetal eyeballs visualized. The fetal lens of the eyes are visualized as minute echogenic rings in the orbit. Real time sonography would show the fetal lens as moving with fetal eyeball movements. Observing the fetal lens is a sure way of confirming the presence of the eyeballs. These images reveal isolated cleft lip anomaly. The first ultrasound image is a B-mode coronal section through the face.
Ultrasound Evaluation of the Fetal Face
Objectives: To detail fetal facial examination in utero using ultrasound, to distinguish between requirements for routine screening and those for precise analysis of fetal facial features, and to assess the use of three-dimensional 3D ultrasound imaging in fetal facial examination. Methods: This was a retrospective study, based on the examination of approximately 10, fetuses. Results: The sonographic anatomy of the normal fetal face was depicted, and the relevance of the three reference scanning planes, sagittal, coronal and axial, was specified. Conclusions: At routine screening using two-dimensional sonography, at least two selected views must be imaged: the mid-sagittal plane search for facial dysmorphology and the anterior 'nose-mouth' coronal plane search for disruption in lip continuity or deformation of the narinal bend. Precise analysis of fetal facial anomalies requires visualization and thorough step-by-step analysis in the three planes.
The forehead, orbits, nose, lips and ears can be consistently identified from 12 weeks of gestation. Sagittal, transverse and coronal planes are all useful for the evaluation of normal and abnormal anatomy. A mid-sagittal plane allows visualization of the fetal profile; whereas the ears are visualized in parasagittal scans tangential to the calvarium. The coronal planes are probably the most important ones in the evaluation of the integrity of facial anatomy.