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J Obstet Gynaecol. 2010;30(5):447-50. doi: 10.3109/01443611003797679.

Impact of maternal obesity on procedure of mid-trimester anomaly scan.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Crosshouse Hospital, Kilmarnock, UK.


A maternal body mass index (BMI) >or= 30 kg/m(2) increases the risk of giving birth to a baby with an anatomical congenital anomaly. Such anomalies can be detected prior to birth using ultrasound as a screening modality. This study documents the impact of maternal obesity on image quality and service provision of the mid-trimester fetal anomaly scan. A prospective observational study of 327 pregnant women demonstrated 21% of women were obese. In this group, sub-optimal views of fetal anatomy and consequent requirement for re-appointment were all significantly greater. We conclude that obese women require information regarding reduced sensitivity of the 20-week anomaly scan. The increasing prevalence of obesity will have a significant effect on resources for maternity ultrasound departments.

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