Obstetric Ultrasound

The Center for Fetal Medicine and Prenatal Genetics obstetric ultrasound unit features state-of-the-art diagnostic technology and an expert, compassionate medical team.

Through a wide range of ultrasound services– including color, pulsed Doppler, and 3D imaging – our specialists are equipped to thoroughly evaluate a fetus at every stage of development. Maternal-fetal medicine (high-risk pregnancy) specialists and ultrasonographers collaborate with the Center’s neonatologists, geneticists, genetic counselors, and nurses to provide comprehensive assessment and treatment of fetal disease.

Doppler ultrasound allows the physicians to evaluate blood flow within the baby’s arteries, veins, and organs.
3-D ultrasound can produce images as detailed as a photograph. It is sometimes used to examine a specific fetal abnormality.

Learn more about ultrasound in pregnancy in our Health Library.;

Our maternal-fetal medicine (high-risk pregnancy) physicians and radiologists specializing in obstetric ultrasound see more than 18,000 patients annually for detailed assessment of fetal anatomy and growth, biophysical testing, and management of twin and other complicated pregnancies. 

Obstetric Ultrasound

Fetal Anatomy and Growth

Ultrasound can be used to evaluate the formation of fetal organs; blood flow in the fetal and placental veins and arteries; fetal heart structure and function (fetal echocardiography); and whether the baby is growing at a normal rate.

Biophysical Testing

Biophysical testing combines ultrasound with a non-stress test to evaluate a baby’s breathing, movement, muscle tone, amniotic fluid volume, and heart rate.

Ultrasound in the Center for Fetal Medicine and Prenatal Genetics also is used to guide diagnostic tests and fetal therapy including:

Amniocentesis

Amniocentesis involves the withdrawal of a fluid sample from the amniotic sac that can used to detect genetic disorders, fetal infections, and other problems.

Chorionic Villus Sampling

During chorionic villus sampling , small amount of cells (chorionic villi) can be taken from the developing placenta and then tested to detect genetic disorders.

Cord Blood Sampling and Fetal Transfusions

Using ultrasound, a needle can be guided into the umbilical cord to diagnose and treat fetal anemia caused by Rh disease.

Fetal Therapy Program

The Fetal Therapy Program, in collaboration with Boston Children’s Hospital, provides fetal interventions for a growing number of conditions, including hypoplastic left heart syndrome, twin-twin transfusion, fetal airway obstruction, and congenital diaphragmatic hernia.

Appointments and Locations

To schedule an appointment or to learn more about our services, please contact us at (617) 732-4840. Our offices are located at:

Brigham and Women’s Hospital
CWN-3
75 Francis Street
Boston, MA 02115

We also offer certain ultrasound services at community hospitals north and west of Boston.

Obstetrical Ultrasound Program Leaders
Rosemary E. Reiss, MD
Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine

Carol B. Benson, MD
Department of Radiology

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