Genetic Counseling Program

Untitled Document

The Relationship Between Nuchal Fold Measurement and Ethnicity.  By Holly Taylor

Background:  The literature shows that various sonographic markers for chromosome abnormalities such as echogenic intracardiac focus, femur and humerus lengths, as well as maternal biochemical markers vary according to ethnicity.  Methods:  This project included a retrospective and prospective query of an ultrasound database for all patients with known ethnicity who were seen for second trimester ultrasound examinations between 15 weeks and 21 weeks and 6 days gestation at the University of North Carolina Women’s Hospital from January 2000 through February 2010.  Ultrasounds of fetuses with an increased nuchal fold measurement (>5 mm) were reviewed for additional ultrasound markers and fetal structural anomalies.  Results:  A total of 12,826 records were identified as meeting study criteria.  Of those, 2.7% (348) had increased nuchal fold measurements.  Of those with an increased nuchal fold measurement, 37.8% also had additional ultrasound findings.  Increased nuchal fold measurements were more common in the Hispanic population (3.7%) and the Native American population (6.9%) than the Caucasian population (2.2%) (p<0.05).  For all gestational ages, the mean nuchal fold measurement was larger in the Hispanic population than in the Caucasian population (p<0.01).  Differences in average nuchal fold measurement were also noted in African American, Asian, and Native American populations compared to the average nuchal fold measurement of the Caucasian population.  Conclusion:  There are differences in average nuchal fold measurements during the second trimester of pregnancy among patients of various ethnicities referred to the Women’s Hospital of North Carolina.   

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  • "I chose to attend UNCG because of its shared learning environment and the access to some of the leading institutions in the country. "

  • "UNCG is a great fit for me. The program directors have extensive experience in the world of genetic counseling and provide you with opportunities to work with some of the best medical centers in the country. Our location allows us to have expert guest lecturers, many of whom you also get to work alongside or observe in your clinical rotations in your second year. We also have some really wonderful and unique opportunities as a part of this program: we observe in syndrome specific support groups and clinics, tour genetic laboratories, and are matched with a family with a genetic disease to learn what it is like to live with a genetic condition. Finally, our directors are genuinely invested in each of us, and care about our success and getting to know each of us personally."

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