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Coll Antropol. 2003 Dec;27(2):627-34.

The advancement in the early diagnostics of developmental hip dysplasia in infants--the role of ultrasound screening.

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Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, University Hospital Sestre Milosrdnice, Zagreb, Croatia.


Developmental hip dysplasia (DDH) is a deformation of the locomotor system that can occur on previously normal bone structures in late fetal development. The study was undertaken to determine the value of continuous ultrasound screening in early diagnosis of DDH. In the area covered by the Labin Primary Health Center, clinical and ultrasound examination of the hips was performed in all children during the fourth month of life from 1989 to 2001. The incidence of DDH was 3.3%. The authors compared the obtained results with results of clinically examined hips in the period from 1968 to 1988 (incidence 1.7%), before the ultrasound diagnostics was introduced. The hip radiograms were performed only in children with clinically positive signs of higher degree of DHD. The ultrasound examination was performed with Hitachi EUB 410 real time linear transducer with a 5 MHz probe. The examiners used methods and criteria suggested by Graf. The most useful feature of the ultrasound method is that it allows the visualization of cartilaginous femoral head and its relationship to the acetabulum in infants. The method is non-invasive, repeatable, without risk of ionizing radiation or need for the contrast material administration. The results of the study revealed an important increase of DHD incidence after the introduction of ultrasound examination. US is highly sensitive in hip imaging and reveals the existence of a number of dislocated and subluxated hips that otherwise would be missed. The anomaly was discovered in the early period of life, which is very important for appropriate therapeutic effects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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