Is fetal anatomic assessment on follow-up antepartum sonograms clinically useful?

Eugene Toy, Alvaro I. Montealegre, Laura P. Fernandez, Konrad Harms, Alan L. Kaplan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objective. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the clinical usefulness of a fetal anatomic survey on follow-up antepartum sonograms. Methods. A retrospective follow-up study was conducted at a low-risk maternity clinic from July 1, 2005, to June 30, 2006. Eligible women had at least 1 prior sonographic examination beyond 18 weeks' gestation with a complete and normal fetal anatomic assessment and at least 1 follow-up sonogram. Full fetal anatomic surveys were performed on all follow-up sonograms regardless of the indication. Neonatal charts were reviewed for those patients whose follow-up sonograms revealed unanticipated fetal anomalies. Neonatal intervention was defined as surgical or medical therapy or arranged subspecialty follow-up specifically for the suspected fetal anomaly. Results. Of a total of 4269 sonographic examinations performed, 437 (10.2%) were follow-up studies. Of these, 101 (23.1%) were excluded because the initial sonogram revealed a suspected fetal anomaly, and 42 (9.8%) were excluded for other reasons. Of the remaining 294 women, 21 (7.1%) had an unanticipated fetal anomaly, most often renal pyelectasis. Compared with follow-up sonography for other reasons, repeated sonography for fetal growth evaluation yielded a higher incidence of unexpected fetal anomalies: 15 (12.3%) of 122 versus 6 (3.5%) of 172 (P = .01). When compared with the neonates in the nongrowth indications group, those neonates whose mothers had sonographic examinations for fetal growth had a higher rate of neonatal interventions: 6 (40.0%) of 15 versus 0 (0%) of 6 (P = .04). Conclusions. A fetal anatomic survey on follow-up sonograms may identify unanticipated fetal anomalies, especially when the indication is for fetal growth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1175-1179
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Ultrasound in Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jan 1 2007


  • Anomalies
  • Antepartum
  • Follow-up
  • Sonography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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