The 3D Ultrasound Atlas Website is online!


Great news: our website is live! On this website we present our ongoing research aimed at the creation of an open access imaging library of state-of-the-art 3D ultrasonography for fetal anatomical evaluation during early pregnancy.

This project started between one of the Amsterdam UMC embryologists, and a researcher from the Obstetrics and Gynecology department at Imperial College London. For the first time, clinical ultrasound taken from a developing fetus in-utero during the early first trimester, were compared with anatomical reference data from the 3D Embryo Atlas to examine structures visualised by 3D Ultrasound, rendered with Crystal Vue. The results of this first collaborative effort were astonishing and eventually led to the initiation of this project in Spring 2019.

Through this project we aim to bundle the knowledge and expertise of embryologists, gynaecologists, and sonographers to explore the potential of novel 3D ultrasound rendering technologies (including, but not limited to Crystal Vue rendering) that allow for the visualisation of fetal internal structures in three dimensions. These algorithms do so by enhancing the borders between tissues with different acoustic impedances, creating a “see-through” or “transparent”. It has been well described that fluid-filled structures, such as the cerebral ventricular system, can be visualised accurately using this technology. However, how additional structures can be visualised using novel 3D rendering technologies is less well known. Using data from post mortem fetal and embryological specimens, imaged with high resolution imaging modalities (including histology and micro-focus CT) as a reference, we are creating a clinical and educational resource to be used by sonographers, clinicians, and students/trainees to explore fetal anatomy visualised by state-of-the-art 3D ultrasonography imaging techniques.

On this website, we will be releasing data as we go along. You can see a preview of our work here. Our approach is largely education oriented. To share our knowledge, our group will be organising integrative embryology, fetal anatomy, and (3D) ultrasonography courses for (bio)medical students, sonographers, and (trainee) clinicians. More information will follow.

We are very excited to share our work with you! If you have any questions about our work or website, please contact us through this form or send an email to and keep an eye out on this website to track our progress!

Author Marieke Buijtendijk