3D/4D scanning in pregnancy


The benefit of increasing maternal bonding with the use of 3D /4D ultrasound examinations has been demonstrated (1), but there are concerns about false reassurances and incorrect diagnosis if these scans are done for non-medical purposes. We subscribe to the Safety Statement of the International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology (ISUOG) that ultrasound scans should not be undertaken solely for non-diagnostic purposes in these settings. (2)

Recommendations for sonographers and other healthcare workers:

We therefore urge sonographers and other healthcare workers undertaking pregnancy ultrasound toensure that they:

  1. Are properly trained, accredited and skilled in performing obstetrical ultrasound,
  2. Do not do 3D/4D ultrasound examinations in isolation, but as part of at least a “level I” obstetrical ultrasound,
  3. Are medicolegally insured, and
  4. Provide feedback to the managing clinician according to the SASUOG guidelines (appendix 1).

Recommendations for obstetricians and other clinicians:

For proper clinical care and to minimize the risk of litigation, we urge clinicians managing pregnant women to refer pregnant patients to sonographers for ultrasound evaluation in pregnancy according to the guidelines of SASUOG (appendix 2)

Clinicians should also ensure that sonographers to whom they refer meet the four requirements listed above. 


SASUOG Exco L Pistorius / E Nicolaou / S Budhram

SORSA H Richter



  1. de Jong-Pleij EAP, Ribbert LSM, Pistorius LR, Tromp E, Mulder EJH, Bilardo CM. Three dimensional ultrasound and maternal bonding, a third trimester study and a review. Prenat Diagn. 2013;33(1).
  2. ISUOG statement on the non-diagnostic use of ultrasound in pregnancy. 2021;

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