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First Trimester Symposium
29-30 March 2008
This 2-day event, organized by the Medical Ultrasound Educators, and accredited by the Fetal Medicine Foundation (UK), saw almost 80 local obstetirians and gynaecologists and sonographers at the Saujana Kuala Lumpur. The certification course attracted not only the practitioners from the academic institutions and the government doctors but also the senior private obstetricians and gynaecologists.

All aspects of first trimester ultrasound were discussed, in particular the first trimester screening test for Down syndrome. Dr Pranav Pandya, the Director of Fetal Medicine services at UCH London, once again gave a series of superb lectures, outlining the merits of first trimester screening for aneuploidies and fetal malformation. The practicalities of the nuchal scan were also emphasized. Dr Douglas Ong, a private obstetrician from Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore, brought home the fact that we have to be familiar with the normal physiological and anatomical changes before embarking on ultrasound in the first trimester of pregnancy.

Local speakers emphasized on other aspects of first trimester screening for aneuploidies. Dr S Raman (FMGC) spoke on the biochemical markers including free ß-HCG and PAPP-A and the yet to be introduced ADAM-12 marker. Dr Wong Yong Wee (DNA Lab), highlighted in his lecture the laboratory aspects in the diagnosis of chromosomal abnormalities. He introduced the ChromosomesCheck, which uses QF-PCR, for a rapid diagnosis of Trisomies 21, 18 and 13 and X and Y abnormalities. Participants were also informed of DNA Lab’s future intentions of extracting free fetal DNA from maternal blood and cervical mucus and their plans to start pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). Dr Yap Moy Juan reminded participants in her lecture on how to reassure women that their pregnancies are normal using various ultrasound features of good prognostic value. The participants were shown how to obtain a good nuchal translucency measurement and look for the nasal bone.

On Sunday, Professor TK Lau from the Chinese University in Hong Kong, discussed the other markers used in the detection of Down syndrome such as the nasal bone, tricuspid regurgitation and ductus venosus flow. He mesmerized his audience with his enthusiasm and talked about multiple pregnancies and the management of the problematic twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS). He highlighted his units’ own experience in laser therapy for TTTS. Dr Patrick Chia talked about the role of 3D and 4D ultrasound in the first trimester and showed participants how the 3D technology had resulted in earlier detection of fetal malformation. Invasive procedures were also discussed and Dr Chia highlighted FMGC’s own experience.

The course culminated in participants having to take part in the FMF exams. The questions were then discussed and assessed. As part of the certification process, participants have to pass this theoretical component.

Ten exhibitors came together in the adjacent hall and they were well visited by the participants. The exhibitors and sponsors included Abex Toshiba, Cryocord, DNA Lab (Perkin Elmer), Diagnostica GE, Dutch Lady, Dumex, Fonterra, Gideons Medison, Glaxo Smith Kline, Inspire Vision Siemens, Mead Johnson, Mederis and Wyeth Nutrition. A big “thank you” to them for making the event possible.

The feedback was excellent and most participants felt that the course was informative and they had benefited. The lectures were of high quality and very practical.

PC 16 April 2008
First Trimester Symposium
Participants at the First Trimester Symposium
Dr Wong Yong Wee, Dr Patrick Chia, Professor TK Lau, Dr Pranav Pandya, Dr Yap Moy Juan, speakers at the symposium
More participants
Visiting the exhibitors
Sharing a light moment with the exhibitors
Dr Pranav Pandya, Director of Fetal Medicine Services UCH London, starting his first lecture
Dr S Raman lecturing
Professor TK Lau
Professor TK Lau sharing a few thoughts on twin pregnancies
Till we meet again! Dr Raman thanking Dr Pranav Pandya