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J Ultrasound Med. 1993 Oct;12(10):583-8.

Growth retardation in prenatally diagnosed cases of gastroschisis.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, University of California, San Francisco 94143-0628.


Gastroschisis is a rare congenital anomaly characterized by the herniation of fetal intestines directly through an abdominal wall defect. It is associated infrequently with chromosomal or other nonbowel defects and can be treated surgically after delivery, with survival rates reported to be between 87 and 100%. We reviewed 21 cases of prenatally diagnosed gastroschisis to ascertain the effect of fetal growth retardation on perinatal outcome. Ten of the 21 fetuses (48%) were identified prenatally as growth retarded, although only seven of these ten truly had birth weights less than the 10th percentile. Three additional fetuses that had not been identified prenatally as growth retarded did, in fact, have birth weights less than the 10th percentile, for a total frequency of growth retardation at birth of 48% (10/21 fetuses). When compared to non-growth-retarded fetuses with gastroschisis, fetuses who were growth retarded, although more likely to have been delivered by emergency cesarean section, had shorter hospitalization times, were more likely to have undergone primary closure on the first day of life, and had fewer major complications. We conclude that growth retardation is common in fetuses with gastroschisis and the postnatal outcome in gastroschisis is not poorer for fetuses who are growth retarded.

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