Correlation of Prenatal Ultrasound Diagnosis and Pathologic Findings in Fetal Anomalies
- Cite this article as:
- Sun, CC., Grumbach, K., DeCosta, D. et al. Pediatr. Dev. Pathol. (1999) 2: 131. doi:10.1007/s100249900101
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This retrospective study compared the prenatal ultrasound (US) diagnosis with autopsy findings in 61 intact fetuses following induced abortion and 36 fragmented fetuses from dilatation and evacuation (D&E). In intact fetuses, complete agreement between US diagnosis and autopsy findings was achieved in 65.6% of cases in the central nervous system (CNS) and 47.5% in other somatic organ systems (SOS). There were major differences between US and autopsy findings involving the CNS in 6.5% of cases and SOS in 27.9%. Correlation was better for evaluation of renal anomalies (complete agreement in 63.6% of 11 suspected cases, 2 false-positive and no false-negative cases) than congenital heart disease (complete agreement in 27.3% of 11 suspected cases, 5 false-positive and 3 false-negative cases). In D&E specimens, a prenatal diagnosis of neural tube defect (NTD) was confirmed in 90% of cases. However, due to fragmentation of fetal parts, the US diagnosis in the CNS could not be confirmed totally (69.4%) or partially (2.8%) in fetuses with chromosomal abnormalities (ChA) or multiple congenital anomalies (MCA). Nonetheless, the US diagnosis of SOS was confirmed in six cases on D&E, including Meckel-Gruber syndrome, cystic hygroma, renal agenesis with contralateral renal dysplasia, cardiac defect, fetal hydrops, and tracheal atresia. Our results show that a thorough autopsy of an intact fetus after abortion is necessary to confirm prenatal diagnosis and allow proper management and counseling. The pathologic examination of D&E specimens can reliably confirm the US diagnosis of NTD, but it is very limited in identifying other fetal anomalies.