Differences between 2D ultrasound, 3D and 4D

Written by: Dra. Conxa Gamón Moreno
Edited by: Top Doctors®

Ultrasound is a diagnostic technique used in hospitals. Using ultrasound, they create two-dimensional or three-dimensional images that can detect tumors and other pathologies but are also used to monitor the fetus in the mother's womb.

How does an ultrasound work?

Sound is a mechanical wave that, being originated by a strong transmitter, propagates through matter in the form of waves. When the sound hits a surface that can reflect it, the echo occurs, a reflected sound that returns to the emitting focus. Ultrasound uses ultrasound to produce echoes and thus visualize the organs of the human body.


What are the differences between 2D, 3D and 4D ultrasound?

3D and 4D ultrasound allow imaging and three-dimensional analysis. This makes it possible for pregnant women and relatives to recognize the images that appear on the monitor, which was not the case with 2D ultrasounds , in which only the specialist managed to interpret the images.

Even so, these ultrasounds involve training and training apart from the prior and essential preparation of 2D ultrasounds. They also require a significant technological investment.

Other advantages of 3D and 4D ultrasounds with regard to 2D is that it is possible to further study musculoskeletal malformations, an evaluation of facial dimorphism and the study of abnormalities in hands and feet. It is possible, for example, to evaluate cranial sutures, to look for fractures of long bones and ribs and to detect subtle anomalies of the vertebrae.

In addition to obtaining images that make 3D analysis possible, 4D ultrasound differs from 3D in that it incorporates sound to capture images in real time. They can be performed from week 12 until term gestation, and although circulate that must be done on the weeks 20 and 22, with the 4D ultrasound it is possible to visualize the face much before and after this period.

4D ultrasound also helps with the prenatal diagnosis of congenital malformations, although genetic diseases can only be detected by examining the karyotype (code that expresses the chromosomal pattern of an individual).


Is the image resulting from a 4D ultrasound always clear?

As the fetus grows it diminishes the space and its mobility, which can make visualization difficult. It also depends heavily on the fetal position, amniotic fluid, placenta and the body mass index of the pregnant woman, since obese pregnant women make it difficult for the ultrasound to pass.

However, these ultrasounds get a good contact between mother, child and father, so that emotional bonds are favored and will be enhanced after birth, benefiting the development and maturation of children.

4D ultrasonography represents an advance in the diagnosis of many morphological diseases and therefore it must be used by specialists who can analyze beyond the face of the fetus, thanks to the analysis of amniotic fluid, placenta and fetal-placental circulation, being able to perform diagnostics and biometrics.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

By Dra. Conxa Gamón Moreno
Obstetrics & Gynecology

Dr. Conxa Gamon Moreno is a reference in the specialty of Gynecology and Obstetrics thirty years of experience. Has been Medical Center Family Guidance and Gynecologic Cancer Early Diagnosis of the Health Department of Valencia and Medical Service Management and Drug Control of the Health Department of Valencia. He has published numerous articles in Health Guides on topics related to Gineocología.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

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