Pseudo-omphalocele is a spurious sonographic appearance giving an impression of an anterior abdominal wall defect.
Pseudo-omphalocele may be seen in:
- scanning errors where there is a deformation of the fetal abdomen by transducer pressure and the image is being scanned in an oblique manner
- patients with oligohydramnios, due to uterine pressure, the abdomen elongates in an AP direction and narrows transversely; this gives a spurious appearance of herniated viscera with the umbilical cord and vessels extend into the midline of the pseudo-herniation
- a fetal position where the fetal abdomen gets wedged in the uterus between myometrium and placenta, causing a compression of the fetal abdominal wall even in the absence of oligohydramnios
- normal physiological midgut herniation (which is seen between the 8th and 12th weeks of gestation)
Differentiation on ultrasound may be possible by looking at the angle formed by the protrusion and the anterior abdominal wall. In an omphalocele the angle formed is acute; while in pseudo-omphalocele the angle formed is obtuse.
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