Document Detail

Assessment of the fetal thymus by two- and three-dimensional ultrasound during normal human gestation and in fetuses with congenital heart defects.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20886509     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
OBJECTIVES: Our objectives were to compare the size and volume of the developing fetal thymus obtained by two-dimensional ultrasound (2D-US) and three-dimensional ultrasound (3D-US), develop normative data for thymus volume (TV), and investigate TV in fetuses with congenital heart disease (CHD) and normal twin gestations.
METHODS: We studied 321 fetuses (gestational age (GA): 17-39 weeks) including 238 normal singletons, 64 normal twins and 19 singleton fetuses with CHD. We used 2D-US to assess fetal thymus maximum transverse diameter (MTD), maximum transverse area (MTA), anteroposterior diameter (APD) and superoinferior diameter (SID). TV was obtained by 3D-US using virtual organ computer-aided analysis. Measurements were adjusted for estimated fetal weight where appropriate. Linear regression analysis, general linear models and Fisher's Z-transformation were used where appropriate. A nomogram of fetal TV based on singleton gestations was produced according to previously published methods.
RESULTS: Ultrasound assessment of the fetal thymus was possible in 95.3% (306/321) of cases. Both 3D-US and 2D-US measurements were significantly correlated with GA (TV r = 0.989; MTA r = 0.918; MTD r = 0.884; APD r = 0.849; and SID r = 0.816; all P < 0.05). After Fisher's Z-transformation, the correlation between the TV and GA was significantly stronger than that between any individual 2D-US measurement and GA (P < 0.05). Normal twin fetuses had TVs similar to those of singletons adjusted for estimated fetal weight and GA (P = 0.85). TV adjusted for estimated fetal weight and GA was significantly lower in fetuses with CHD than in normal singletons (P < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: 2D-US and 3D-US are useful tools for evaluation of the size and volume of the human fetal thymus through gestation. Fetal TV by 3D-US seems to reflect normal development of the thymus in utero better than do 2D-US measurements. Lower TV should be expected in association with CHDs. Copyright © 2011 ISUOG. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
L Li; M O Bahtiyar; C S Buhimschi; L Zou; Q-C Zhou; J A Copel
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article     Date:  2011-01-28
Journal Detail:
Title:  Ultrasound in obstetrics & gynecology : the official journal of the International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology     Volume:  37     ISSN:  1469-0705     ISO Abbreviation:  Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol     Publication Date:  2011 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-03-24     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9108340     Medline TA:  Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  404-9     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2011 ISUOG. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Department of Ultrasonic Medicine, The Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, P. R. China; Departments of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.
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