Effectiveness of Prenatal Ultrasound Examination at Second Trimester in Detecting Fetal Congenital Abnormalities-A Preliminary Study


  • Madan Thapa Department of Radiology, Western Regional Hospital, Pokhara Academy of Health Sciences
  • Shyam Sundar Parajuly Department of Radiology, Ultrasound Unit Western Regional Hospital, Pokhara Academy of Health Sciences
  • Rajesh Adhikari Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Western Regional Hospital, Pokhara Academy of Health Sciences
  • Manish Kiran Shrestha Department of Radiology, Gandaki Medical College, Pokhara, Nepal




Anomaly scan, Congenital anomalies, second trimester, prenatal, ultrasound


Objective: Anomaly scan at the second trimester provides the detail anatomical study of fetus. Any structural or morphological defects detected prenatally guides the parents and doctors for further counseling. The main objective of this study was to detect the fetal congenital anomalies in high risk patients at 18-22 weeks and highlight the effectiveness of prenatal ultrasound examination.

Materials and Methods: This was a hospital based descriptive study done during the period of 2017 January to 2019 January in the department of Radiology, ultrasound unit, Pokhara Academy of Health Sciences, Nepal. Pregnant women who were first examined and evaluated by the Obstetrician during the ante-natal check up (ANC) either by asking the patient history or by mother age or any symptoms or chance of being abnormalities or high risk patients during that time frame (18-22 weeks) were enrolled for the study. Maternal age, parity, any history of previous anomalies, previous history of miscarriage/Intra Uterine Fetal Demise ( IUFD) or any exposure to radiation or drugs, history of other disease were recorded during the filling of consent form. High risk patients were identified by the Obstetrician and anomaly examination was prescribed at second trimester (18-20 weeks). Descriptive analysis was done using SPSS 20.

Results: There were two hundred and twenty four patients who had undergone anomaly (targeted fetal anatomy) examination which were referred for “anomaly scan” from the gynaecology and obstetrics department during that period. Among all the cases, fourteen cases had anomalies detected during the scan (18-22 weeks). Out of which seven cases had central nervous system related anomalies, two cases had skeletal deformities (dysplasia), two case had urinary tract related anomalies, one had lungs related anomalies and one had single umbilical artery with polyhydroamnios associated with duodenal atresia and one case had malformation of lymphatic system ( cystic hygroma )

Conclusion: Our study revealed that ultrasound scan performed between 18-22 weeks of pregnancy is effective in diagnosing major fetal abnormalities in the high-risk patients.


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