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Radiology. 1991 Feb;178(2):369-74.

Infection in utero: US findings in 19 cases.

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Department of Radiology, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver 80282.


The results of antenatal sonographic studies of 19 fetuses with congenital infections were retrospectively reviewed by the authors. Recognizing the significance of these antenatal sonographic findings is important because in utero infections can have devastating effects on the developing fetus. An infectious viral agent was isolated in laboratory tests at birth in 11 patients, and the effects of a viral agent were proved clinically in eight. Antenatal sonography demonstrated abnormalities in 18 fetuses: Multiple organ systems were affected in 47%; intracranial abnormalities, cardiac abnormalities, and parenchymal calcifications occurred in 42%, 37%, and 32%, respectively; large placentas were seen in 32%; and the volume of amniotic fluid was decreased in 37% and increased in 37%. Sixty-three percent of fetuses were either aborted or died at birth; the 37% that lived were all developmentally impaired. On the basis of these sonographic, laboratory, and clinical findings, the authors conclude that when multiple organ system abnormalities are found at antenatal ultrasound, the presence of an in utero infection should be considered. The parents should be informed that there is a poor prognosis for any fetus demonstrating such abnormalities.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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