Three Vessel View (3VV)

The fetal three vessel view is an axial view of the upper fetal mediastinium. It is obtained by sliding cephalid from the four chamber view. It visualizes the caliber, course and connection of ductal and aortic arches. An abnormal three vessel view reveals pathology in the outflow tracts of the heart.


  • Normal 3 Vessel View
    • Pulmonary trunk (oblique axis) anterior and leftward 
    • Aorta (short axis) between SVC and pulmonary artery
    • SVC (short axis) posterior and rightward


  • Define the following on 3VV:
    • Number of vessels
    • Normal course of the great arteries
    • Size of great arteries (PA equal to slightly larger than aorta)
    • Color Doppler in aortic and ductal arches
    • Presence of thymus
    • Relationship of trachea to great arteries (should be leftward consistent with a left aortic arch)


  • Pay Attention to the following Abnormalities from this View:
    • Abnormal vessel number (left SVC to CS)
    • Abnormal vessel caliber (hypoplastic pulmonary artery or aorta)
    • Abnormal course/alignment (vascular ring)
    • Abnormal color Doppler flow (retrograde flow in the PDA)