What happens next?
After a soft marker has been detected, the sonographer or doctor will look closely at the fetus for any other markers. After the scan, you will have the opportunity to ask questions and discuss your options with a doctor or a genetic counsellor. The significance of the finding will be explained to you. If the presence of short femur and/or humerus measurements adjusts your risk of a chromosome abnormality into the high risk category, or, if you feel that the presence of this marker is likely to cause you ongoing concern, amniocentesis may be offered to you. This test examines the baby’s chromosomes, but has an associated risk of miscarriage (1:200).
Nicolaides KH, Screening for chromosomal defects, Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol, 2003; 21: 313-21
Nicolaides KH & Pilu G, Diagnosis of fetal abnormalities: the 18-23 week scan, Parthenon Publishing Group, New York, 1999.