What is the Difference Between a Level I and Level II Ultrasound?

Jane Foley's picture


Dear Ms Ultrasound,
What is the difference between a Level II and Level III ultrasound?


The terms Level I, Level II and Level III aren't used very much anymore. If a doctor has recommended you have a certain level ultrasound, he/she is indicating how much detailed anatomy is required to be imaged during the scan. The basic ultrasound or level one is documenting the babies heart-rate and measuring the size of the fetus -- a general overview.

A more specialized professional is asked to perform a Level II ultrasound. In many cases this will be a perinatalogist, a doctor who specializes in higher risk pregnancies. This person will look for things like cleft-palate, heart defects, neurotube defects, intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR) and more.

If you have had your triple screen come back abnormal, had a previous pregnancy with a genetic problem, have a family history or you are over 35 you may be sent for a Level II or detailed ultrasound.

-- Jane, RDMS