Ultrasound scans

Ultrasound scan of the brain

By way of standard in our unit we check your baby’s brains if he/she has been born prematurely. We also check if there is another indication for this, even if your baby was born full term. For example if your baby was off to a bad start immediately after birth. We use the foremost fontanel for the ultrasound scan of the cerebrum (the main part of the brain) and we check the cerebellum from behind the ear. We use the ultrasound scan of the brain to check for any bleeding but we also use it to monitor development of the brain. An schedule for premature babies can be seen below. Depending upon the condition of your baby, ultrasound scans will be performed more or less frequently. Ultrasound scans of the brain are performed by neonatology specialists.

Approximate schedule for ultrasound scans of the brain for premature newborns

  24 +0-25 +6 26 +0-27 +6 28 +0-29 +6 30  +0-31  +6 ≥ 32
 1st Week     
 Day 1 X X X X
 Day 3 X X X  If clinically indicated*
 Day 7 X X X X If clinically indicated*
 2nd week X X X X 
 Subsequently, every other week X X   
 Discharge from the NICU X X X X 
 Discharge to go home/due date X X If clinically indicatedIf clinically indicated 

*    in the LUMC all premature babies born earlier than 35 weeks pregnancy term are given at least one ultrasound scan of the brain, preferably between 3 and 7 days after birth.

U ltrasound scans of the heart and kidneys/bladder
We sometimes also use the ultrasound scan to check the position of lines that have been inserted via the navel. If there is an indication for this, we will ask the paediatric cardiologist to do an ultrasound scan of the heart or for example, the radiologist if there is any indication relating to the kidneys/bladder.