Document Detail

Echogenic bowel in fetuses with homozygous alpha-thalassemia-1 in the first and second trimesters.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  10550877     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVE: Fetal echogenic bowel has been observed in fetuses with meconium peritonitis, cystic fibrosis, aneuploidy, congenital viral infection and intrauterine growth restriction. The pathogenesis of echogenic bowel is unknown, but it may be attributed to bowel ischemia. Fetuses affected by homozygous alpha-thalassemia-1 are severely anemic and hypoxic. We investigated the incidence of echogenic bowel in these hypoxic fetuses in the first and second trimesters. DESIGN: Prospective observational study. SUBJECTS: Women referred for the prenatal diagnosis of homozygous alpha-thalassemia-1 before 24 weeks' gestation. METHODS: All subjects had one or more abdominal and/or vaginal ultrasound examination between 12 and 24 weeks' gestation. Echogenic bowel was diagnosed if the bowel appeared either isoechogenic or more echogenic than the bone. RESULTS: Between March 1997 and July 1998, 126 pregnancies were studied. Thirty-six fetuses were confirmed to be affected by homozygous alpha-thalassemia-1, and 11 of them (31%, 95% CI 16-48%) had echogenic bowel. These observations were made before the invasive test results were available. None of the fetuses unaffected by homozygous alpha-thalassemia-1 had echogenic bowel. CONCLUSION: There is a strong association between homozygous alpha-thalassemia-1 and echogenic bowel. The pathogenesis is unknown. Speculations include bowel hypoperistalsis or bowel wall edema due to severe anemia and hypoxia.
Y H Lam; M H Tang; C P Lee; H Y Tse
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Ultrasound in obstetrics & gynecology : the official journal of the International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology     Volume:  14     ISSN:  0960-7692     ISO Abbreviation:  Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol     Publication Date:  1999 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1999-11-17     Completed Date:  1999-11-17     Revised Date:  2004-11-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9108340     Medline TA:  Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol     Country:  ENGLAND    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  180-2     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Hong Kong, Tsan Yuk Hospital, China.
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MeSH Terms
Fetal Diseases / ultrasonography*
Intestines / embryology,  ultrasonography*
Pregnancy Trimester, First
Pregnancy Trimester, Second
Prospective Studies
Ultrasonography, Prenatal*
alpha-Thalassemia / ultrasonography*

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