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Curr Probl Diagn Radiol. 1999 Jul-Aug;28(4):101-28.

Prenatal diagnosis of complicated abdominal wall defects.

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Department of Radiology, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, USA.


The accurate prenatal diagnosis of anterior abdominal wall defects is important because it affects patient management and prognosis. The pathophysiology of each defect leads to key characteristics that make it possible to differentiate one entity from another. Among these features are the location of the defect in relation to cord insertion, the size and contents of the defect, and the associated anomalies. This article reviews the underlying defects, the characteristic ultrasound findings, the associated anomalies, and the prognosis of simple and complicated abdominal wall defects. The basic features of simple abdominal wall defects (i.e., omphalocele and gastroschisis) were used as the initial points of assessment. A comparison of the different features of these abnormalities and how they differ from one another resulted in the development of criteria that facilitated the understanding of the different ultrasound manifestations of these anomalies.

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