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Prenatal sonographic findings in 207 fetuses with trisomy 21

European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.ejogrb.2006.07.053
  • Prenatal Diagnosis
  • Trisomy 21
  • Echocardiography
  • Design
  • Medicine


Abstract Objective The objective was to evaluate the contribution of second trimester ultrasound examination to the prenatal diagnosis of trisomy 21 in 207 fetuses with this aneuploidy. The type and frequency of abnormal sonographic findings were determined. Possible multiple malformation patterns, characteristic of trisomy 21 were sought. Study design Singleton fetuses that had prenatal sonography during the second trimester, then underwent cytogenetic evaluation in our institution, made up the study population. The sonographic findings of 207 fetuses with trisomy 21 were analyzed. Results Between 1990 and 2004, fetal karyotyping was performed in 22,150 patients for different indications. An abnormal karyotype was diagnosed in 514 cases (2.3%); among them 207 fetuses with trisomy 21 were detected (40.3%). Abnormal sonography was seen in 63.8% of the cases. Structural anomalies were detected in 28.5% of the trisomy 21 fetuses, among them cardiac defects (15.9%), central nervous system anomalies (14.5%), and cystic hygromas (6.8%) were the most common. Of the minor markers, increased nuchal translucency (28%), pyelectasis (20.3%), and shorter extremities (8.7%) were common findings. Conclusions Appropriate diagnosis of structural anomalies, looking for relatively easily detectable minor markers and incorporating fetal echocardiography into the second trimester sonographic protocol, may increase the contribution of mid-trimester ultrasound examination to diagnosing trisomy 21.

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