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In Current opinion in obstetrics & gynecology

PURPOSE OF REVIEW : Fetal central nervous system malformations are among the most common congenital anomalies. Whereas simple axial views are sufficient for basic fetal brain examination, other important views are essential for a more detailed examination, which are sometimes challenging to obtain. Three-dimensional ultrasound can be helpful in obtaining standardized and reproducible images of many difficult fetal brain views. The aim of the present review is to explore the most recent evidence on the utility and technique of three-dimensional ultrasound in the examination of the fetal brain, with particular emphasis on the brain views that benefit from three-dimensional ultrasound.

RECENT FINDINGS : The article describes the various techniques of acquisition and analyses of three-dimensional ultrasound volumes of the fetal brain and their usefulness in the assessment of normal and abnormal fetal brain anatomy. Three-dimensional ultrasound has also permitted the application of many new technologies, such as artificial intelligence and deep machine learning. Recently, thanks to high-quality three-dimensional ultrasound, fetal cortical development can be assessed quantitatively and reliably.

SUMMARY : Three dimensional ultrasound can help as a complementary tool to two-dimensional ultrasound in the assessment of the fetal brain development and malformations. In addition, it paves the way for the application of promising technologies in the evaluation of fetal brain.

VIDEO ABSTRACT : A video summarizing the findings of the article. The video illustrates the various approaches and techniques applied for the examination of the fetal brain using three-dimensional ultrasound. Furthermore, the advantages and future perspectives of the application of three-dimensional ultrasound in the examination of the fetal brain are discussed,

Youssef Aly, Pilu Gianluigi