Diagnostic Evaluation of the Fetal Face Using 3-Dimensional Ultrasound

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Evaluation of the fetal face with 3-dimensional ultrasound allows for evaluation of the fetal face using surface rendering, multiplanar and multislice displays. Three-dimensional ultrasound offers many benefits in evaluating the fetal face because it can be rotated into a standard symmetrical orientation and reviewed millimeters by millimeters by scrolling through the volumes. New rendering tools now allow imaging of the hard palate. Clinical applications where 3-dimensional ultrasound adds value as an adjunct to 2-dimensional ultrasound imaging that are reviewed in this paper include cleft lip and palate, micrognathia and other profile abnormalities, metopic suture abnormalities, presence and absence of the nasal bones, orbit abnormalities, and ear abnormalities. In addition, the literature regarding parental bonding to the fetus after viewing 3-dimensional images of their fetuses is reviewed.

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