AIUM Practice Parameter for the Performance of Detailed Second‐ and Third‐Trimester Diagnostic Obstetric Ultrasound Examinations


The clinical aspects of this practice parameter were developed collaboratively among the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM) and other organizations whose members use ultrasound for performing detailed second‐ and third‐trimester diagnostic obstetric ultrasound examinations (see “Acknowledgments”). Recommendations for personnel requirements, the written request for the examination, documentation, quality control, and safety may vary among the organizations and may be addressed by each separately.

The detailed obstetric ultrasound examination (Current Procedural Terminology [CPT] code 76811) is not intended to be the routine ultrasound examination performed for all pregnancies. Rather, it is an indication‐driven examination performed for a known or suspected fetal anatomic abnormality, known fetal growth disorder, genetic abnormality, or increased risk for a fetal anatomic or genetic abnormality or placenta accreta spectrum (PAS). Performance and interpretation of a detailed fetal anatomic scan require advanced skills and knowledge and the ability to effectively communicate the findings to the patient and her referring physician. Thus, the performance of the detailed obstetric examination should be rare outside referral practices with special expertise in the identification and diagnosis of fetal anomalies and placental implantation disorders. Only 1 such medically indicated study per pregnancy per practice is appropriate. If 1 or more required structures are not adequately demonstrated during the 76811 examination, the patient may be brought back for a focused assessment (CPT code 76816). A second detailed obstetric examination should not be performed unless there are extenuating circumstances.