Evaluation of fetal gastrointestinal tract
Antenatal ultrasound detects a wide range of abnormalities of the fetal gastrointestinal tract. Although some of these abnormalities produce distinctive, if not diagnostic, sonographic patterns, occasionally pathologic processes originating from organ systems other than the gastrointestinal tract can exhibit sonographic patterns similar to those of bowel. For example, a tortuous dilated ureter or a large multicystic dysplastic kidney can produce an ultrasound pattern similar to that of obstructed small bowel. Likewise, abdominal calcifications are often secondary to meconium peritonitis, but could also be due to other disorders such as in utero infection or an intraabdominal neoplasm. Additionally, the ultrasound appearance of normal fetal bowel overlaps with that of abnormal bowel. This session examines the sonographic findings of fetal gastrointestinal disorders, emphasizing potential diagnostic pitfalls arising from confusion with normal anatomy, anatomic variants, and other organ systems.
Volume / Issue
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)