Objective: Although second-trimester and third-trimester reference curves for human fetal hand growth allow for identification of several genetic syndromes, little is known about first-trimester hand growth. We investigated first-trimester hand growth in euploid and aneuploid fetuses. Method: Between 9 and 12weeks' gestational age (GA), wrist width, hand width, hand length, and hand index were measured in three-dimensional (3D) ultrasound datasets of 112 euploid and 65 aneuploid pregnancies. We constructed reference curves for these measurements in euploid pregnancies and calculated z-scores for measurements in aneuploid pregnancies. Reproducibility was established in a subset of 20 datasets. Results: While wrist width, hand width, and hand length increased with gestational age, hand index decreased. Intraobserver and interobserver intraclass correlation coefficient values were >0.97.In trisomy 21 cases, wider wrists and hands were observed compared with euploid pregnancies (mean z-scores 1.06, SD 2.04, p<0.001 and 1.16, SD 1.30, p<0.001, respectively). Trisomy 18 cases showed narrower and shorter hands (mean z-scores -0.74, SD 1.20, p=0.009 and -0.97, SD 0.86, p=0.005, respectively). In trisomy 13 cases, no differences were observed. Conclusion: Reference values are available for first-trimester studies on human hand development. First-trimester hand measurements in trisomies 21 and 18 differ significantly from those in euploid pregnancies and may be useful for early identification of abnormal development.

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Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1002/pd.4404, hdl.handle.net/1765/56720
Journal Prenatal Diagnosis
Baken, L, Benoit, B, Koning, A.H.J, Willemsen, S.P, van der Spek, P.J, Steegers-Theunissen, R.P.M, … Exalto, N. (2014). First-trimester hand measurements in euploid and aneuploid human fetuses using virtual reality. Prenatal Diagnosis. doi:10.1002/pd.4404