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Midwifery Today Int Midwife. 2012 Summer;(102):46-7, 68-9.

Prenatal ultrasound does not improve perinatal outcomes.

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Based on accurate randomized controlled studies, the correct evidence-based recommendation would be for women not to undergo prenatal ultrasound except to assist with turning a breech baby to head down, evaluating ectopic pregnancy and directing the needle during amniocentesis and fetal blood transfusions. First and second trimester organ scans, biophysical profile (BPP), amniotic fluid index (AFI), placental grading 0-III and Doppler umbilical, uterine and fetal artery velocity testing have been tested in randomized controlled studies on tens of thousands of women. They are used to attempt to predict suspected fetal growth restriction (FGR or IUGR), suspected placental insufficiency and suspected postdate pregnancy. They are unable to predict those with sufficient accuracy to direct management that will reduce the number of stillbirths or improve perinatal mortality rates and in most settings result in increased cesarean rates as a result of failed induction.

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