Objectives: The objective of this study was to establish a minimum subset of simple criteria for the self-assessment of the quality of first-trimester ultrasound images of nuchal translucency (NT) and crown-rump length (CRL).
Methods: We designed 162 simplified image-scoring methods (ISM) based on 1, 2, 3 or 4 binary criteria derived from the 8 criteria of the original image scoring method of the French College of Fetal Ultrasound (CFEF). These ISM were assessed on 68,250 consecutive scans of the French national audit conducted by the CFEF on NT and CRL images. The ISM associated with the best precision to identify excellent/reasonable quality scans were selected.
Results: Simplified ISM based on 1, 2, 3 and 4 criteria showed maximum positive predictive values of 95.3% (95.11-95.50) 98.0% (97.87-98.14), 99.3% (99.17-99.35) and 99.7% (99.68-99.79), respectively, to identify excellent/reasonable quality scans. The proportion of excellent/reasonable scans was 2.8 to 16.7% when three criteria among the 8 were insufficient, and 0.17 to 3.95% when four criteria were insufficient.
Conclusions: The best performing ISM was based on the following four quality criteria: (i) sagittal plane of the NT, (ii) calipers placement for measuring the NT, (iii) image magnification of NT images and (iv) CRL measurement. This score might be the most relevant in clinical practice in the first-trimester screening.
Keywords: Auto-évaluation; Clarté nucale; Crown-rump length; First-trimester; Longueur crânio-caudale; Nuchal translucency; Premier trimestre; Prenatal ultrasound; Self-assessment; Échographie.
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