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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1991 Sep;165(3):586-90.

Study of 156 cases of polyhydramnios and congenital malformations in a series of 118,265 consecutive births.

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Institut de Puériculture, Centre Hospitalo-Universitaire, Strasbourg, France.


Polyhydramnios associated with congenital anomalies was studied over nine years in 118,265 consecutive pregnancies. The prevalence of this association was 1.32% (156 cases). A case-control study allowed the examination of genetic and environmental factors for the origin of polyhydramnios associated with congenital malformations. Diagnosis of polyhydramnios associated with congenital malformations was performed prenatally in 41% of the cases; 16% of the infants were stillborn. Fifty-five percent of the cases had more than one malformation, 13.4% of them had a chromosomal aberration, and 32% had multiple malformations that do not constitute a syndrome. There was an increase of consanguinity in the parents of our patients. The incidence of polyhydramnios and congenital anomalies in first-degree relatives was 3.8%, and first-degree relatives had more malformations than the controls had (8.3% vs 3.2%). Our study demonstrated the low capacity of a general prenatal screening program because the diagnosis of malformations associated with polyhydramnios was made in only 41% of the cases and only six of 21 chromosomal abnormalities were diagnosed prenatally. We recommend the use of fetal chromosome analysis and careful ultrasonographic examination in every pregnancy complicated by polyhydramnios.

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