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[Neonatal screening for congenital hip dislocation. Indication of ultrasonography from a systematic study correlating clinical findings and ultrasonography].

[Article in French]

Author information

  • 1Cattedra di Ortopedia infantile 2, Università degli Studi di Napoli, Facoltà di Medicina e Chirurgia.



The aim of our study was to verify the correlation between clinical and sonographic screening for CDH.


Clinical and sonographic screening was carried out in 1000 newborns (2000 hips) during the first week of life. Anamnestic risk factors were evaluated and clinical examination was performed using the BARLOW, Le DAMANY and ORTOLANI maneuvers. We also took into account a possible limitation of abduction due to adductor hypertonia and the presence of a hip crepitation. All hips were evaluated by ultrasound examination using Graf's morphologic method. We considered as clinically pathological the positive BARLOW, Le DAMANY and ORTOLANI hips and "doubtful" the stable hips having "crepitation" or "hypertonia of the adductors". The hips considered pathological with the ultrasound were the hips 2c, 3a and 3b according to GRAF.


1) Hips clinically pathological (BARLOW, Le DAMANY and ORTOLANI): 150 (7.5 per cent). 2) The clinically stable hips but "doubtful":--crepitation: 105 (5.25 per cent); adductor hypertonia: 86 (4.3 per cent), total 191 (9.55 per cent). 3) Hips clinically normal but with at least anamnestic risk factor: 198 (9.9 per cent); 4) Hips clinically normal but without anamnestic risk factor: 1461 (73.05 per cent). 5) Hips echographically pathological, that is 2c, 3a and 3b according to Graf: 124 (6.2%) and particularly 2c: 61 (3.05 per cent), 3a: 61 (3.05 per cent) and 3b: 2 (0.1 per cent).


1) In the clinically pathological hips (BARLOW positive) 36 were echographically pathological with a clinical-sonographic correlation of 28.3 per cent (36 out of 127); all the ORTOLANI positive hips, were echographically pathological (100 per cent (23 out of 23)). In doubtful hips, sonograms were pathological in 17 of 105 hips with "crepitation" (0.85 per cent) and in 13 of 86 hips with "adductor hypertonia" (0.65 per cent). 2) The clinically and echographically pathological hips at birth, that is 2c, 3a and 3b, must be followed for months. At follow up they showed in almost all the cases an evolution towards normality. It is, therefore, indicated to repeat the clinical and sonographic examination in the first month, before undertaking any kind of treatment. 3) Finally, 12 hips, 0.6 per cent, presenting pathological sonographic type 2c and 3a, were found clinically normal. Nevertheless, almost all of these hips evolved normally. From this study only 0.05 per cent of clinically normal hips presented, later, a dysplasia of the acetabulum. Analysis of the results clearly showed that ultrasound examination may be an excellent help to clinical examination which, if well performed, has top priority for early diagnosis of C.D.H.


The clinical examination, carefully performed in the first days of life, has priority because it allows discovering a pathological hip or a hip at risk. The sonographic examination is a useful image complementing the clinical examination because it allows confirmation of the diagnosis and follow up of the morphologic evolution of the hip with an inoffensive method and it can give indications for possible treatment. From our study we may conclude that at birth a clinical screening is preferable and that the ultrasound study is to be reserved for pathological, doubtful or at risk hips.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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