11-13 week scan
FMF Certificate of competence in assessment of tricuspid flow
The findings of recent studies suggest that examination of the fetal tricuspid flow at 11-13 weeks could have major beneficial implications in screening for both chromosomal abnormalities and major cardiac defects.
The FMF software which allows calculation of risk for both chromosomal and cardiac defects is provided free of charge to sonographers who have been appropriately trained and accredited in the assessment of the fetal tricuspid flow.
Requirements for Certification in assessment of tricuspid flow
The requirements for certification are:
- Attendance of the internet based course on the 11-13 weeks scan.
- FMF certification in measurement of nuchal translucency.
- Successful completion of a short online test in which you will be asked to examine images on assessment of tricuspid flow.
- Submission of a logbook of 3 images showing correct assessment of tricuspid flow. In the past we requested that the tricuspid flow should be abnormal in at least one of the images but this is no longer necessary.
Protocol for the assessment of tricuspid flow
- The gestational period must be 11 to 13 weeks and six days.
- The magnification of the image should be such that the fetal thorax occupies most of the image.
- An apical four-chamber view of the fetal heart should be obtained.
- A pulsed-wave Doppler sample volume of 2.0 to 3.0 mm should be positioned across the tricuspid valve so that the angle to the direction of flow is less than 30 degrees from the direction of the inter-ventricular septum.
- Tricuspid regurgitation is diagnosed if it is found during at least half of the systole and with a velocity of over 60 cm/s, since aortic or pulmonary arterial blood flow at this gestation can produce a maximum velocity of 50 cm/s.
- The sweep speed should be high (2-3 cm/s) so that the waveforms are widely spread for better assessment.
- The tricuspid valve could be insufficient in one or more of its three cusps, and therefore the sample volume should be placed across the valve at least three times, in an attempt to interrogate the complete valve.
Clinical application of tricuspid flow findings
The incidence of tricuspid regurgitation is related to NT and CRL as well as aneuploidy, being more common when the NT is high and the CRL is low. Therefore it is not possible to give simple numbers by which the presence of normal flow will reduce the risk for trisomy 21 and the presence of tricuspid regurgitation will increase the risk.
The FMF software firstly calculates a risk based on maternal age, fetal NT and maternal serum free β-hCG and PAPP-A. If the risk is more than 1 in 50 and tricuspid flow is normal the risk does not change. If the risk is 1 in 50 to 1 in 1,000 and the tricuspid flow is normal the risk is usually reduced. If there is tricuspid regurgitation the risk is always increased. In addition, there is an increased risk for cardiac defects and therefore such patients should have a follow up specialist fetal cardiac scan.
Quality review and ongoing Certification in assessment of tricuspid flow
- Sonographers who have obtained the Certificate of competence in the assessment of tricuspid flow need to pass an audit on an annual basis.
- The audit involves (a) successful completion of a short online test in which you will be asked to examine images on assessment of tricuspid flow and (b) submission of a logbook of 3 images showing correct assessment of tricuspid flow. In the past we requested that tricuspid flow should be abnormal in at least one of the images but this is no longer necessary.
- Sonographers who pass their audit will receive renewal of their licence for one year and their name will be published on the FMF website list of holders of the Certificate of competence in assessment of tricuspid flow.
- Sonographers who fail their audit will not receive renewal of their licence and their name will be removed from the FMF website list of holders of the Certificate of competence in assessment of tricuspid flow.
Submission of logbook
Please login to upload your images:
Alternatively, send your completed logbook to:
The 11-13 weeks scan: Tricupid flow
The Fetal Medicine Foundation
137 Harley Street
London, W1G 6BG
Holders of the FMF Certificate in assessment of tricuspid flow
To view the list of sonographers who have obtained the Certificate of competence in assessment of tricuspid flow please click here.
Doppler assessment of tricuspid flow
Normal tricuspid flow