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Are fetuses with isolated echogenic bowel at higher risk for an adverse pregnancy outcome? Experiences from a tertiary referral center

Authors

  • Mariella Mailath-Pokorny,

    Corresponding author
    • Medical University of Vienna, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Obstetrics and Feto-maternal Medicine, Vienna, Austria
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  • Katharina Klein,

    1. Medical University of Vienna, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Obstetrics and Feto-maternal Medicine, Vienna, Austria
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  • Katrin Klebermass-Schrehof,

    1. Medical University of Vienna, Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Division of Neonatology, Intensive Care and Neuropediatrics, Vienna, Austria
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  • Nilouparak Hachemian,

    1. Medical University of Vienna, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Obstetrics and Feto-maternal Medicine, Vienna, Austria
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  • Dieter Bettelheim

    1. Medical University of Vienna, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Obstetrics and Feto-maternal Medicine, Vienna, Austria
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  • Funding sources: None
  • Conflicts of interest: None declared

Mariella Mailath-Pokorny, E-mail: mariella.mailath-pokorny@meduniwien.ac.at

ABSTRACT

Objective

The purpose of this study was to determine the risk of poor perinatal outcome in normal karyotype second-trimester fetuses with the sonographic finding of isolated echogenic bowel.

Method

Medical records, ultrasonographic findings and outcome details were reviewed for 97 cases of isolated fetal echogenic bowel, after excluding cases of aneuploidy and major congenital anomalies, and compared with a cohort of 400 fetuses without pathologic intra-abdominal findings.

Results

The incidence of echogenic bowel during the 14-year study period was 0.8%. Eighty (82.5%) pregnancies resulted in healthy, live-born infants. Congenital infection and cystic fibrosis was reported in 6.2% and 4.4%, respectively. The incidence of intrauterine growth restriction and intrauterine fetal demise was significantly higher in the group of isolated echogenic bowels compared with the control group (9.9% versus 1.3%, p ≤0.001; 8.9% versus 0.5% p ≤0.001).

Conclusion

Echogenic bowel is a risk factor for an adverse pregnancy outcome, even in normal karyotype fetuses without congenital anomalies. This information should be considered when counseling patients after midtrimester echogenic bowel is diagnosed. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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