Diagnosis of Fetal Abnormalities by Ultrasound

  • Stuart Campbell


The emphasis of this chapter will be on the recognition of fetal anomalies before the 24th week of pregnancy—that is, early enough for selective termination. An attempt will also be made to place ultrasonic investigation in the context of other available diagnostic modahties. There are three techniques which involve visualization of the fetus and fetal defects; radiology, ultrasound, and fetoscopy. Only ultrasound and fetoscopy, however, are of value prior to 24 weeks’ postmenstrual age. The hazards of ionizing radiation in the second and third trimesters have been considered in Chapters 5 and 11. Amniography may help in the radiological diagnosis of gross fetal lesions (Weiss et al., 1978), but the index of suspicion will have to be high before this technique is used. Computerized axial tomography involves the use of high doses of ionizing radiation, and, in addition, the quality of the image is interfered with by fetal movements, which make it an unsatisfactory technique for prenatal diagnosis.


Amniotic Fluid Prenatal Diagnosis Spina Bifida Fetal Weight Renal Agenesis 
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Copyright information

© Aubrey Milunsky 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stuart Campbell
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, King’s College Hospital Medical SchoolUniversity of LondonLondonEngland

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