Three-dimensional (3D) ultrasound plays an important role in obstetrics, predominantly for assessing fetal anatomy. Presenting volume data in a standard anatomic orientation valuably assists both ultrasonographers and pregnant patients to recognize the anatomy more readily. Three-dimensional ultrasound is advantageous in studying normal embryonic and/or fetal development, as well as providing information for families at risk for specific congenital anomalies by confirming normality. This method offers advantages in assessing the embryo in the first trimester due to its ability to obtain multiplanar images through endovaginal volume acquisition. Rotation allows the systematic review of anatomic structures and early detection of fetal anomalies. Three-dimensional ultrasound imaging in vivo compliments pathologic and histologic evaluation of the developing embryo, giving rise to a new term: 3D sonoembryology. Rapid technological development will allow real-time 3D ultrasound to provide improved and expanded patient care on the one side, and increased knowledge of developmental anatomy on the other.
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