Three-dimensional ultrasound demonstration of the fetal palate in high-risk patients: The accuracy of prenatal visualization

Liat Gindes*, Alina Weissmann-Brenner, Michal Zajicek, Boaz Weisz, Alon Shrim, Keren Tzadikevitch Geffen, David Mendes, Jaacov Kuint, Michal Berkenstadt, Reuven Achiron

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The aim of this research was to evaluate the ability of three-dimensional (3D) ultrasound for demonstrating the palate of fetuses at high risk for cleft palate. Method: Fifty-seven fetuses at high risk for cleft palate were referred for specialist ultrasound at 12-40weeks' gestation. A detailed assessment of palate was made using both two-dimensional and 3D ultrasounds on the axial plane. Antenatal diagnoses were compared with postnatal findings. Results: Cleft palate was suspected in 13 (22.8%); a normal palate was demonstrated in 38 (67%), and in six (10.2%), the palate view could not be obtained. Mean gestational age at the first visit was 27weeks 6days (range of 12-40weeks 3days). Examination after delivery revealed that one of the 38 fetuses with presumed normal palate had a cleft hard palate, and one had a cleft soft palate (false negative 5%). Among the 13 fetuses with suspected cleft palate, three had an intact palate (false-positive 23%). Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value of detection of palatal clefts were 71.4%, 91.9%, 62.5%, and 94.4%, respectively. Conclusion: Using 3D technology, we diagnosed a cleft palate in 83% of high-risk cases, with 5% false negative. 3D technology might produce some technical artifacts resulting in a 23% false-positive rate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)436-441
Number of pages6
JournalPrenatal Diagnosis
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2013
Externally publishedYes


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