Cleft lip:

3D ultrasound image

ultrasound image of cleft lip3D ultrasound image showing cleft lip

ultrasound image of cleft palate3D coronal section of face showing the cleft palate

 3D ultrasound image cleft palate3D ultrasound image (coronal section of face) showing cleft palate

These are 3-D ultrasound images showing a fetus with cleft lip with cleft palate.

The fetal upper lip can be seen well with the vertical cleft. Images courtesy of Dr. Arun Mahajan, Delhi, India.



Ambiguous genitalia:

ultrasound image of fetal genitalia

ultrasound image ambiguous genitalia

sonography of ambiguous genitalia

3D ultrasound image

 Ultrasound images of this 23 week fetus reveal prominent labia (or small scrotum) and a large clitoris (or a small penis). The labia appeared partially fused. Fetal karyotyping is required in such cases along with serum 17- Hydroxy progesterone level assay. Fetuses with ambiguous genitalia may be genetic females (XX chromosome) or genetic males (XY chromosome).

Reference: (free article) Images courtesy of Dr. Latha Natrajan, India.

Fetal intra-abdominal cyst:

fetal mesenteric cyst

abdominal cyst in fetus

ultrasound image of fetal abdominal cyst

sonographic image of fetal abdominal cyst

 Ultrasound images of this fetus reveal a large cystic lesion in the abdomen. It appears to be separate from the fetal kidneys as well as the stomach bubble. The cystic mass also does not appear to arise from the urinary bladder. It lies in the right lumbar region of the fetal abdomen. The possibilities include fetal mesenteric cyst or enteric duplication cyst. Images courtesy of Dr. Vikas Arora, Ferozepur, India.

Occipital encephalocele:


ultrasound image of occipital encephalocele

cyst within cyst appearance of encephalocele

transverse section fetal skull

defect in fetal calvarium


These ultrasound images show occipital encephalocele in a 19 week old fetus. The encephalocele is produced by a defect in the occipital calvarium and upper cervical region of the fetal spine. The typical “cyst within a cyst” appearance is also well seen. The occipital mass in such cases would contain dystrophic cerebellum and possibly the upper part of spinal cord. Images courtesy of Dr. Gunjan Puri, India.



Cyst of the umbilical cord:

a cystic mass of the cord

umbilical cord cyst

absence of flow in cyst

B-mode image of cord cyst


These B-mode and color Doppler ultrasound images show a cystic mass of the umbilical cord. Color Doppler sampling of the cord shows absence of flow within the cyst, which suggests it is non-vascular. This rules out the possibility of umbilical cord varix (a cystic dilatation of the umbilical vein). The possibilities that now need to be considered include:                    

a)       True cyst of the cord

b)      Pseudocyst of the cord or false cysts.

Unlike true cysts, pseudocysts do not have an epithelial lining.

The images show the cyst to be located near the fetal end of the cord.

As both of these types of cysts are associated with fetal anomalies, karyotyping and level 2 sonography may be needed.

Images courtesy of Dr. Arun Mahajan, New Delhi, India.


Reference: (free)

3-D ultrasound images of Macroglossia:

large fetal tongueThe fetal tongue is seen protruding beyond the alveolar ridge.

ultrasound image of fetal macroglossiaEnlarged fetal tongue is well seen.

sonographic 3-D image of macroglossiaFetal tongue protruding outside the oral cavity

sagittal section ultrasound image of macroglossiaB- mode sagittal section of fetal face; tongue well seen.

 The ultrasound images above show the hypertrophied fetal tongue (macroglossia), protruding outside the oral cavity, beyond the alveolar ridge, in this 29 week old fetus. Macroglossia may be associated with a number of other fetal congenital anomalies, including Beckwith-Wiedman syndrome, omphalocele, nephromegaly, cystic kidneys and
Images are courtesy of Dr. Martin Horenstein, MD, Argentina.

3D-ultrasound images of anencephaly:

3D ultrasound image showing fetus with anencephaly

sonography of anencephaly

These are 3-D sonographic images which show anencephaly in a 2nd trimester fetus, with its typical features. The cranial vault is absent with rudimentary brain tissue. The surface rendering of 3-D sonography, reveals prominent eyeballs and a typical frog-like appearance, due to the absent cranium.

Case and images courtesy of Dr. Fazeel Zaman, Pakistan.


Exencephaly-Anencephaly (free)

 And here are some ultrasound images of anencephaly in a 13 weeks old fetus:

anencephaly image in early pregnancy

anencephaly<<<3-D image of the same fetus

 (Images courtesy of Dr. Latha Natrajan, Bangalore, India)

Fetal yawn:

yawning fetus


This 3-D image shows a normal fetus, opening its mouth to yawn. This is yet another example

of the superiority of 3-dimensional sonographic imaging. (Image courtesy of Dr. Arun Mahajan,

Delhi, India) 

On the lighter side:

Here are some 3-D images by Dr. Arun Mahajan which depict various moods of the normal fetus:

capturing the expressions of fetal face in 3D3D-fetal face-- the face of a "don"

3D ultrasound image of normal fetal face3D- fetal face: the face of a "politician"

3D ultrasound image fetus3D- fetal face: a rather "sad and forlorn baby"

3D image of fetus in sleep3D- face: is this baby upset or in deep sleep