Journal article

Fetal diagnosis - Obligations of the clinician - Case studies in the prenatal diagnosis of major heart abnormality

Samuel Menahem, Lynn Gillam

FETAL DIAGNOSIS AND THERAPY | KARGER | Published : 2007

Abstract

Fetal echocardiography allows for accurate diagnosis of major heart abnormalities by 16-18 weeks. The parents have up to 22 weeks to consider possible termination. What are the obligations of the clinician once an abnormality is found? Should only information be provided or is there a role in influencing the parents' decision? Two diverse examples are provided to discuss these questions. Mrs A., aged 40 years was noted at the 18-week and then the 20-week scan to have a fetus with a complete atrio-ventricular septal defect. In addition, the fetus had a Danny-Walker cyst. There was thickened nuchal folds and echogenic bowel all suggestive of a chromosomal abnormality. Amniocentesis was refused..

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