n Obstetrics and Gynaecology Forum - Obesity - the impact on prenatal screening and diagnosis : review

Volume 24, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1027-9148



Obesity has become a global pandemic. It is a risk factor for fetal malformations, particularly spina bifida and cardiac abnormalities. Obesity decreases the likelihood of a complete detailed scan of fetal anatomy. This leads to an increased chance of missed abnormalities during the antenatal period. In addition, obesity has a negative impact on the sensitivity of all currently available screening tests for Downs's syndrome. New ultrasound technology may improve the image quality but is unable to compensate fully for the decreased resolution. In the current climate of medical litigation it is important for clinicians and patients to be aware of these limitations.

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