Fetal intrahepatic calcification

Fetal intrahepatic calcification can be a relatively common finding. Calcifications in the liver can be single or multiple and in most cases in which isolated hepatic calcific deposits are detected, there is usually no underlying abnormality.

The presence of isolated intrahepatic calcification is often of little clinical significance, especially if infection or associated chromosomal anomalies are excluded.

The estimated incidence is ~6-10 per 10,000 pregnancies.

Aetiology

Intrahepatic calcification in utero can result from a number of causes which include:

However, many cases are idiopathic.

Associations

There may be an increased risk of chromosomal anomalies (especially when additional anomalies are present 2).

Antenatal ultrasound

Typically seen as one or may echogenic foci within the liver. These may be rounded, flat or elliptical in shape. Dorsal echoes are usually absent.

Depending on other associated pathology, additional sonographic findings may be present which may include:

The site, size, and distribution of the lesions are major factors in determining further management. Isolated intrahepatic calcification is associated with excellent post natal outcome. Some advocate fetal karyotyping when additional structural anomalies are present 8.

General differential considerations include

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Article Information

rID: 13427
Section: Gamuts
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Fetal hepatic calcification
  • Fetal liver calcification
  • Antenatal hepatic calcification
  • Fetal intra-hepatic calcification
  • Fetal intrahepatic calcifications
  • Fetal intra-hepatic calcifications

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