4 Cool 3D Ultrasound Facts You Probably Didn't Know

Health & Medical Blog

The joy of bringing a new life into the world is made that much more joyful with the first glimpse of your new child. Many expecting parents are turning to 3D ultrasound technology to get a sneak peek of their little ones before the grand finale. As you prepare for your 3D ultrasound screening, you might be interesting in learning these interesting facts about the technology.

The Idea of the 3D Ultrasound is More Recent than You Think

The beginnings of 3D ultrasound can be traced back to the early 1970s, when British engineer Tom Brown developed a 3D ultrasonic imaging system in 1973. However, it wasn't until 1987 that Olaf von Ramm and Stephen Smith of Duke University produced an ultrasound tool capable of generating 3D imagery. Development of 3D ultrasound technologies continued throughout the 1990s until it became widespread.

Same Sound Waves, Different Approach

Many people assume that 3D ultrasounds require stronger sound waves than 2D ultrasounds to generate a 3D image. Contrary to popular belief, there's no difference in the strength of the sound waves used for 3D ultrasounds when compared to their 2D counterparts.

In fact, the only difference is that 3D ultrasounds use surface rendering, a technique that allows the ultrasound machine to project sound waves from multiple angles. This allows the computer to generate a 3D image of the fetus inside.

3D Ultrasounds Can Help Screen for Abnormalities

A 3D ultrasound can be a useful tool in screening for any abnormalities that could present complications later on in the pregnancy. Your OB-GYN can use the 3D imagery to detect early signs of an ectopic pregnancy, placenta previa, and Down Syndrome. Early detection can help you and your OB-GYN make preparations to tackle these issues going forward.

3D Ultrasounds are Better at Determining Gender

Getting your fetus to pose in just the right position for a gender-identifying 2D ultrasound is easier said than done. This often leaves 2D ultrasounds at a disadvantage, since the position of the fetus can obscure an otherwise clear view of the gender.

In comparison, a 3D ultrasound captures more angles, making it more likely for you and your OB-GYN to get a clearer sneak peek at your child's gender. Researchers also agree with the better odds of detecting gender with 3D ultrasound scans. A British Journal of Radiology study found that 85.3 percent of participants who underwent 3D ultrasounds during the first trimester received accurate predictions of gender.


27 October 2016