Early Fetal Scan Conference 2019

London School of Ultrasound runs Annual Early Fetal Scan Conference every autumn.
The Early Fetal Scan Conference aims to raise awareness to early diagnosis and management of different fetal anomalies.

EFScan Conference 2018

Topics for annual EF Scan Conference:

  • Early Fetal Scan technique
  • Early diagnosis of fetal anomalies
  • Early echocardiography
  • Two stage CHD screening at 12 and 20 weeks
  • Early neurosonography
  • First trimester diagnosis of spina bifida
  • Mid-sagittal view of the fetal face/brain
  • Cystic hygroma, early hygrops, and nuchal translucency (NT)
  • Role of NIPT in contemporary screening
  • Phenotyping fetuses with positive NIPT
  • NIPD for single gene disorders
  • Early problems of multiple pregnancies
  • New ultrasound imaging technologies
  • Controversies around Early Fetal Scan
  • Limitations of Early Fetal Scan

Register Now

Registration for EF Scan Conference on 14-15th  September 2019

Advanced Screening for Congenital Anomalies at 12-13 weeks

2nd Annual Early Fetal Scan Conference

14-15  September 2019, London

Future of the 11-14 Weeks Ultrasound

The second Early Fetal Scan Conference will explore the emerging and controversial topics of ultrasound diagnosis at 11-14 weeks.

  • Early Fetal Scan Update
  • NT Debates: Yes or No
  • First Trimester Cardiology
  • NIPT and Ultrasound
  • Rare Early Fetal Anomalies


We are totally committed to the idea of early detection of fetal anomalies at 12-13 weeks. Recent systematic reviews of studies published in 1991-2014 found that first-trimester screening could identify about half of all anomalies(1). We are sure, that with the use of new advanced ultrasound scanners and high-resolution probes together with systematic training of ultrasound specialists the detection rate will be much higher.

Down’s Syndrome (DS) facts

There is a false perception that prenatal testing for DS is equivalent to testing for congenital anomalies and intellectual disability

  • DS represents less than 10% of all congenital anomalies(2)
  • DS attributes to only about 10% cases of intellectual disability(3)
  • The best screening test for DS is NIPT, not ultrasound(4)
  • NIPT screening alone will leave more than 90% of structural anomalies and about 90% of intellectual disability cases undiagnosed

Moving from 11-13 weeks DS scan to Early Fetal Scan

The contemporary vision of the 11-13 weeks scan: a new alternative approach for early detection of fetal anomalies instead of looking for chromosomal markers.

Examples of important anomalies potentially detectable at 12-13 weeks:

  • Congenital heart defects
  • Spina bifida
  • Congenital diaphragnmatic hernia
  • Lethal skeletal dysplasias
  • Limb defects
  • Cleft lip/palate

Definition of Early Fetal Scan

The main aim of Early Fetal Scan (EF scan) is screening for structural anomalies.
EF scan represents a systematic from top to toe anatomical review of the fetal organs with special attention to the heart and brain. The optimal time for EF scan is 12-13 weeks of pregnancy (around 12+5 weeks). 11 weeks (CRL below 55 mm) is the suboptimal period due to fetal immaturity (especially brain) and insufficient resolution.

10 Main Advantages of Early Fetal Scan

  • Early detection of anomalies
  • Detection of severe cases with worst prognosis
  • Simultaneous with NIPT
  • Early prenatal diagnosis (CVS instead amniocentesis)
  • Possibility of using transvaginal scanning (TVS)
  • Some anomalies are more prominent and better visible
  • Time for additional tests and its results (karyotype, arrays, genetic, TORCH, ets) and for counselling by a multidisciplinary team (MDT)
  • Option of surgical termination for lethal conditions
  • Understating of natural history of anomalies
  • If something is unclear on EF scan, there is always time for detailed follow-up scans at 16 and 20 weeks.


  1. Karim JN, Roberts NW, Salomon LJ, Papageorghiou AT. Systematic review of first-trimester ultrasound screening for detection of fetal structural anomalies and factors that affect screening performance. Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol. 2017 Oct;50(4):429-441
  2. http://www.eurocat-network.eu/accessprevalencedata/prevalencetables
  3. Acharya K. Prenatal testing for intellectual disability: misperceptions and reality with lessons from Down syndrome. Dev Disabil Res Rev. 2011;17(1):27-31
  4. Gil MM, Accurti V, Santacruz B, Plana MN, Nicolaides KH. Analysis of cell-free DNA in maternal blood in screening for aneuploidies: updated meta-analysis. Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol. 2017 Sep;50(3):302-314


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