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Keywords:

  • Fetal lung volume;
  • Three-dimensional ultrasound

Abstract

Objective

To establish reference intervals for fetal lung growth.

Design

Longitudinal observational study.

Subjects

Fifty-eight women with initially uncomplicated singleton pregnancies were recruited from the antenatal population of a teaching hospital. Four women were excluded from the final analysis because of complications arising in their pregnancy.

Methods

Each subject was serially scanned at monthly intervals. At each visit lung volume was measured using an ultrasound-based computerized three-dimensional imaging system. Multilevel models were used to determine conditional and unconditional reference intervals.

Results

Reference intervals for fetal lung growth were derived. Fetal lung volume increases in a non-linear way with gestation.

Conclusions

Our computerized system has the capacity to be used in conjunction with any standard two-dimensional ultrasound scanner in order to measure volume. Lung volume measurement may be useful in predicting pulmonary hypoplasia. Copyright © 2000 International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology