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Intra-amniotic band-like structures are seen fairly commonly on routine obstetric scans, especially during the first and second trimesters of pregnancy. It is important to establish the cause for such findings in order to determine their clinical significance
and to assess prognosis. The vast majority of band-like structures are uterine synechiae, which are benign and have no clinical significance. These are usually detected as an incidental finding and do not interfere with growth and development of the fetus.
Visualisation of these band-like structures must not be confused with the Amniotic Band Syndrome, especially when the fetal anatomy is normal. True amniotic bands are rare, but are usually associated with a range of anatomic abnormalities and have a poor prognosis. Other, less common types of amniotic band-like structures may also be detected. Although the precise diagnosis may not always be evident, misdiagnosis of synechiae as an amniotic band is quite common. This results in undue concern and anxiety about the development and outcome of an otherwise perfectly normal baby. Correlation of the ultrasound findings with the patients' history is also important. An overview of the different types of band-like
structures detected sonographically, their classification and clinical significance are presented.
Keywords: Synechia; Amniotic bands; Uterine scarring; Constriction bands; Shelf-like
O & G Forum Vol. 18 (3) 2008: pp. 81-85