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Early Detection of Down Syndrome Marker by Measuring Fetal Nuchal Translucency Thickness from Ultrasound Images during First Trimester


  • Sathyabama University, Chennai - 600119, Tamil Nadu, India
  • St Joseph’s College of Engineering, Chennai - 600119, Tamil Nadu, India


Objectives: Nuchal Translucency (NT) thickness measurement is a Down syndrome marker for chromosomal abnormalities which is detected by non-invasive test during first trimester. Methods: In this paper, a computerized method to measure NT thickness is proposed. It consists of region of interest extraction, NT segmentation using morphological operation with Otsu thresholding. The NT thickness is measured from the segmented area. The performance is analyzed on 80 ultrasound fetal images. Findings: Proposed approach for NT measurement is implemented in MATLAB software. Experimental results show that NT thickness for normal foetus is 1.99±.62 mm and abnormal foetus is 4.10±.90 mm during first trimester of pregnancy from 11 to 13+6 weeks of gestation. The proposed algorithm efficiently computes NT measurement and produces consistent result during first trimester in singleton pregnancies. Applications/Improvements: Proposed semi-automated technique helps the medical sonographer for accurate NT thickness measurement to detect Down syndrome marker during first trimester ultrasound scan.


Down Syndrome, Morphological Operation, Nuchal Translucency, Trimester, Thresholding.

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