Lower Part of Brain Stem Missing?

Cynthia Flynn's picture
Experts: 

QUESTION

Dear Midwife,
I had an ultrasound this week. I thought I was twenty weeks but measured 17 weeks 5 days. They could not find the lower part of the brain stem. Should I be concerned?

When does this normally form? At how many weeks? I have a appointment with a perinatologist in 3 weeks. What outcome can I expect?

ANSWER

It is very hard for me to say for sure without seeing the ultrasound report, especially since I am not a perinatologist. The brain stem normally forms early, and controls automatic things like heart rate, breathing, etc. If it is really missing, then that is not good news. But I would get a second scan before doing anything drastic. Good luck, and I hope everything works out.

--Cynthia, CNM

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