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Fetal ascites

Fetal ascites refers to the accumulation of free fluid in the fetal abdomen. It is often considered under the same spectrum of hydrops fetalis.



Radiographic features

Antenatal ultrasound

In the case of simple ascites, free anechoic fluid is seen within the fetal abdominal cavity.

Differential diagnosis

General considerations include

  • fetal pseudo-ascites: hypoechoic abdominal wall muscles or occasionally the hypoechoic fetal omentum can artefactually mimic a small volume of ascites

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