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Fetal Diagn Ther. 2011;29(3):238-47. doi: 10.1159/000322212. Epub 2011 Jan 4.

Prenatal diagnosis of skeletal dysplasias: contribution of three-dimensional computed tomography.

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Department of Radiology, Hospital Italiano de Buenos Aires, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina. marina.ulla @



To describe the contribution of 3-dimensional computed tomography (3D-CT) in the prenatal diagnosis of skeletal dysplasias (SD) in a cohort of patients with inconclusive diagnosis by ultrasound (US).


Between May 2007 and February 2010, six pregnant women with suspected fetal SD on US examination but with no specific diagnosis were studied with 3D-CT. The images were evaluated by a multidisciplinary team who proposed a likely diagnosis. Further postnatal workup included clinical and radiological evaluation in all cases. Prenatal and postnatal diagnoses were compared.


The use of 3D-CT provided a precise diagnosis confirmed postnatally in 5/6 patients. These included osteogenesis imperfecta type II (n = 2), osteogenesis imperfecta type III (n = 1), chondrodysplasia punctata (n = 1) and thanatophoric dysplasia type I (n = 1). A precise diagnosis could not be made in 1 case - either pre- or postnatally.


Prenatal 3D-CT contributed to the diagnosis of the specific fetal SD in the majority of these cases. 3D-CT may have a complementary role to US where fetal SD is suspected, but no specific diagnosis can be made using US alone. Further studies on clinical performance and risk-benefit analysis are needed.

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