Head circumference (HC) is one of the basic biometric parameters used to assess fetal size. HC together with biparietal diameter (BPD), abdominal circumference (AC), and femur length (FL) are computed to produce an estimate of fetal weight. In the second trimester this may be extrapolated to an estimate of gestational age and an estimated due date (EDD).
- HC is measured on the same plane as BPD, that is on an axial plane that traverses the thalami and cavum septum pellucidum.
- transducer must be perpendicular to the central axis of the head, and thus the hemispheres and calvaria should appear symmetric.
- cerebellar hemispheres should not be in the plane of the image, or the probe is too caudal giving an inaccurate size of the fetal head.
If the available ultrasound equipment allows for measurement of an ellipse, this may be drawn around the outside of the calvarium. Alternatively, HC may be calculated from BPD and occipitofrontal diameter (OFD) as: HC = 1.62 × (BPD + OFD) 3.
Ultrasound - obstetric
- ultrasound (introduction)
- obstetric ultrasound
first trimester and early pregnancy
- gestational sac
- yolk sac
- Beta-hCG levels
- ectopic pregnancy
- multiple gestations
- subchorionic hematoma
- failed early pregnancy
- fetal biometry
- fetal morphology assessment
- fetal echocardiography views
- nonvisualisation of the fetal stomach
- nuchal fold thickness
- absent nasal bone
- choroid plexus cysts
- enlarged cisterna magna
- shortened fetal long bones
- echogenic intracardiac focus (EIF)
- echogenic fetal bowel
- aberrant right sublavian artery
- fetal pyelectasis / fetal renal pelvic dilatation
- single umbilical artery
- sandal gap toes
- umbilical artery Doppler assessment
- fetal middle cerebral arterial Doppler assessment
- nuchal translucency
- chorionic villus sampling (CVS) and amniocentesis
- first trimester and early pregnancy
- 1. Callen PW. Ultrasonography in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Elsevier Health Sciences. (2011) ISBN:1455726745. Read it at Google Books - Find it at Amazon
- 2. Campbell S, Warsof SL, Little D et-al. Routine ultrasound screening for the prediction of gestational age. Obstet Gynecol. 1985;65 (5): 613-20. - Pubmed citation
- 3. Salomon LJ, Alfirevic Z, Berghella V et-al. Practice guidelines for performance of the routine mid-trimester fetal ultrasound scan. Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol. 2011;37 (1): 116-26. doi:10.1002/uog.8831 - Pubmed citation