The routine obstetric ultrasound examination

Obstet Gynecol Clin North Am. 1998 Sep;25(3):451-63. doi: 10.1016/s0889-8545(05)70021-8.


Ultrasound is a readily available, noninvasive, and safe means of evaluating fetal health, determining gestational age, and assessing the intrauterine environment. It is an indispensable tool for the practice of obstetrics. The routine ultrasound examination is a beginning. It is a diagnostic test, yielding results that must be interpreted and integrated in a knowledgeable way. As is true for physical examination, the ultrasound study is most helpful when performed in a consistent and reproducible fashion, carefully documenting the pertinent positive and negative findings that are important in clinical decision making. The information gained from routine obstetric ultrasound may provide reassurance, guide therapy, or identify a pathologic condition that merits further investigation. It is always informative.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diagnostic Tests, Routine
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Ultrasonography, Prenatal* / methods
  • Ultrasonography, Prenatal* / standards