High-risk pregnancies are any that actually or potentially threaten either the health or life of the mother or her fetus during pregnancy, labor, or birth. From a radiological perspective, high-risk pregnancies may undergo further screening or have close follow-up with growth and well-being scan...
Band like structures in the gestational sac is not an uncommon finding in the first trimester or second trimester ultrasound scans and can represent a number of varying conditions
Fetal ventriculomegaly (ventricle width >10 mm) is an important finding in itself and it is also associated with other central nervous system abnormalities. For more information, see the main article fetal ventriculomegaly.
Fetal ventriculomegaly can be thought of in ter...
Trauma is a leading cause of mortality in pregnancy. Pregnancy increases the incidence and severity of abdominal trauma in females.
Trauma affects up to 7% of pregnancies, and the incidence of pregnancy in level 1 trauma patients is estimated to be ~2% 1.
Fetal chylothorax is defined as the presence of lymphatic fluid within the pleural cavity of the fetus.
may show echogenic fluid in the pleural cavities
Congenital limb amputation is the absence of a fetal limb or part of a limb that usually occurs due to disruption of vascular supply.
Congenital amputations occur in 0.5 (range 0.03-1) per 1000 live births 2.
They are slightly more common in the upper limb (60%) than ...
Fetal rib fractures can be caused by certain skeletal dysplasias. These include:
osteogenesis imperfecta: type II - one of the classical causes of fetal rib fractures
achondrogenesis: type Ia - Houston-Harris sub type
Fetal limb bowing may be a feature of skeletal dysplasia, particularly if it is severe. A mild degree of lateral bowing of the femur can occur as part of normal variation.
Conditions associated with fetal limb bowing include:
campomelic dysplasia 1
thanatophoric dysplasia 2: particularly type...
Fetal cardiac tumors refer to primary cardiac tumors that can present in the in utero population.
Fetal cardiac tumors are rare; the prevalence, reported from autopsy studies of patients of all ages, varies from 0.0017-0.28 % 2.
Known cardiac tumor types that present ...
Frontal bossing is a calvarial radiographic feature where the front of the skull appears protruding anteriorly. It is best appreciated on a sagittal or lateral image.
This feature can be seen in many conditions (in alphabetical order):
Non-visualization of the fetal stomach on ultrasound can occur with various physiological as well as pathological processes. It becomes a significant sonographic observation >14 weeks of gestation (about the time the fetus begins to swallow).
physiological emptying: transient
Fetal intracranial hemorrhage may occur either within the cerebral ventricles, subdural space or infratentorial fossa.
Hemorrhages can occur in a number of situations:
mechanical trauma, e.g. maternal abdominal blunt or birth trauma
severe fetal hypoxia
background fetal thrombocyt...
Fetal brain tumors are uncommon and tends to have very different pathological spectrum than that observed in adults; in order of decreasing frequency:
fetal intracranial teratoma: most common tumor by far
astrocytoma/glioblastoma: next most common
Fetal intracranial calcification refers to intracranial calcification detected in utero. This can arise from a number of pathologies which include:
in utero infections
fetal toxoplasmosis infection: calcification tends to be randomly distributed
fetal cytomegalovirus infection1: calcificatio...
Uterine enlargement can occur in a number of situations from both diffuse and focal processes. These include:
gestation related events
normal intrauterine pregnancy
molar pregnancy - gestational trophoblastic disease
postpartum uterus - still larger than usual
A small placenta if observed on antenatal ultrasound can arise from a number of situations. They include:
variation in placental morphology: where only part of the placenta is seen
bilobed placenta: with only one lobe seen
succenturiate lobe: with either main lobe or succenturiate lobe not se...
Fetal bowel dilatation can occur from many causes, which include:
intestinal atresias: mainly distal
apple-peel intestinal atresia
megacystis microcolon hyperperistalsis syndrome 4
congenital chloride d...
Abnormally thickened endometrium on imaging may occur for a number of reasons which may be categorized based on whether or not they are related to pregnancy. Etiologies may also be classified based on whether the patient is premenopausal or postmenopausal.
Fetal intracranial cystic lesions can arise from a number of pathologies, including:
fetal arachnoid cyst
fetal choroid plexus cyst
fetal connatal cyst
fetal porencephalic cyst
fetal interhemispheric cyst
fetal subependymal cyst
dorsal cyst of holoprosencephaly
Congenital renal anomalies comprise of vast spectrum of pathologies and include:
congenital renal hypoplasia
congenital cystic renal disease
infantile polycystic renal disease: autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease (ARPKD):...
Enlarged echogenic fetal kidneys can be associated with a number of pathologies that include:
autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease (ARPKD) 1
autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) 3: the large cysts may not form in utero and the kidneys may initially appear as enlarged a...
Fetal intra-abdominal cystic lesions can arise from a number of physiological and pathological causes.
fetal gastric dilatation / fetal gastric bubble (can be pathological if there is a gastric outlet obstruction
normal fetal gallbladder
No color flow
A narrow fetal thorax on antenatal ultrasound can be present with a number of anomalies which include:
Jeune syndrome - asphyxiating thoracic dysplasia
short rib polydactyly syndro...
Fetal anterior abdominal wall defects can occur with a number of pathologies.
limb body wall complex
omphalocele-radial ray (ORR) complex
Pentalogy of Cantrell
Echogenic fetal lung lesions on antenatal ultrasound can be detected in a number of situations. They include:
Airway obstructions: lung are often enlarged and echogenic bilaterally
congenital high airways obstruction syndrome (CHAOS)
congenital tracheal stenosis
A shortened fetal humerus is a morphological description and is usually defined when the humeral length falls below the 5th percentile or less than 0.9 as predicted by the biparietal diameter (BPD). It can occur in isolation or in association with a number of other anomalies.
The humeral length...
Syndactyly (plural: syndactylies) refers to a congenital fusion of two or more digits. It may be confined to soft tissue (soft tissue syndactyly/simple syndactyly) or may involve bone (bony syndactyly/complex syndactyly).
The overall estimated incidence is at ~1 per 2,500 to 5,000...
Placentomegaly is a term applied to an abnormally-enlarged placenta.
It can be associated with a number of maternal and fetal disorders which include:
chronic intrauterine infections
A shortened fetal femur is a morphological descriptor and is usually defined when the femoral length falls below the 5th centile for gestational age (some define it when it is under the 2.5th centile 5) or less than 0.91 predicted by the biparietal diameter (BPD). It can occur in isolated or in ...
Fetal pleural effusions (FPE) refer to an accumulation of pleural fluid in utero. It can refer to either a fetal chylothorax or a fetal hydrothorax.
A fetal pleural effusion can occur as part of hydrops fetalis, in association with other anomalies without hydrops or in isolation - pr...
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 ...
Fetal ascites refers to the accumulation of free fluid in the fetal abdomen. It is often considered under the same spectrum of hydrops fetalis.
any condition that results in hydrops fetalis
additional causes include
bowel perforation (e.g. meconium peritonitis...
Per vaginal (PV) bleeding during pregnancy is a common clinical presentation that often necessitates obstetric ultrasound for the assessment of the hemorrhage, and of fetal well being.
The potential causes vary with the stage of gestation.
Bleeding in the first trimester
Hypotelorism refers to an abnormal decrease in distance between any two organs although some authors use the term synonymously with orbital hypotelorism meaning an abnormal decrease in the distance between the two eyes (the eyes appear too close together). The article mainly focuses on the latte...
Umbilical cord cysts can refer to any cystic lesion associated with the umbilical cord. They can be single (commoner) or multiple.
They may be seen in ~3% of pregnancies in the first trimester 8.
Umbilical cord cysts can represent either true or false cysts:
Fetal clenched hands are an antenatal ultrasound observation where the fetal hands are in a constant (permanently) clenched position as if being unable to extend.
Some authors 3 suggest that the abnormal posture results in part from:
muscle variations along the radial margin of the...
Intracranial cystic lesions in the perinatal period can carry a relatively wide differential which includes:
Supratentorial cystic lesions
choroid plexus cyst
Failed early pregnancy (sometimes termed embryonic demise) refers to the death of the embryo and therefore, miscarriage. The most common cause of embryonic death is a chromosomal abnormality.
Findings diagnostic of pregnancy failure
crown-rump length (CRL) of...
Although rare, a number of tumors may be diagnosed antenatally. These fetal tumors are a diverse and a unique group of conditions, and include:
neuroblastoma: most common tumor overall
head and neck teratoma/epignathus
Fetal death in utero (FDIU), also known as intrauterine death (IUD), is the term used when the death of a fetus occurs after the 20th week of pregnancy. Prior to this, it is considered a miscarriage.
IUD is often also used as an abbreviation for an intrauterine contraceptive device...
Oligohydramnios refers to a situation where the amniotic fluid volume is less than expected for gestational age. Often these fetuses have <500 mL of amniotic fluid.
The estimated prevalence can be up to ~6% of pregnancies 4.
The causes of oligohydramnios are ...
Polyhydramnios refers to a situation where the amniotic fluid volume is more than expected for gestational age.
It is generally defined as:
amniotic fluid index (AFI) >25 cm
largest fluid pocket depth (maximal vertical pocket (MVP)) greater than 8 cm 6
some centers, particularly in Australi...
A small for dates fetus can result from a number of factors
structural anomalies (syndromes)
fetal Warfarin syndrome
hydantoin embryopathy (Dilantin TM)
Twin pregnancies are the most common multifetal pregnancies.
Multifetal pregnancies account for ~1% of all pregnancies but are seen in much higher numbers in populations where in vitro fertilisation (IVF) is a common practice.
A twin pregnancy can be broadly cate...
Empty gestational sacs can be due to a number of causes:
anembryonic pregnancy (also known as "blighted ovum")
early pregnancy (intrauterine): by 5.5 weeks gestational age, a yolk sac should be identifiable by transvaginal ultrasound
pseudogestational sac with an ectopic pregnancy