n South African Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology - The magic of ultrasound : editorial

Volume 17, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0038-2329
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



The theme of this year's SASUOG Congress is 'The Magic of Ultrasound'. It is truly magical when the face of the fetus can be seen in three dimensions as clearly as a photograph taken of a newborn. Even more dramatic is the real-time motion video of the fetus gyrating, sucking its fingers and moving hands away from its face to reveal its smile. When twins can be seen playing with each other's umbilical cords, small ventricular septal defects can be detected at 12 weeks' gestation, and pre-eclampsia and growth restriction can be predicted by ultrasound combined with blood tests, we are indeed in the realm of a new world. Less than a hundred years ago antibiotics had not yet been discovered, frogs were used to diagnose pregnancy, and close to one in a hundred women were dying during pregnancy. The technological advances that have been made are incredible. However, with advances in technology come problems of resources, of ethics and of training. Our challenge is to address these issues.

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