Should Ultrasonography be Done Routinely for all Pregnant Women?
AbstractContext: Although the importance of routine ultrasound screening of the fetus during pregnancy to detect congenital anomalies, multiple-gestation pregnancies, fetal growth disorders and placental abnormalities, and to assess fetal age is not in doubt, but whether or not routine ultrasound screening is desirable is still a contentious issue.
Objective: The objective of this study is to determine whether ultrasonography should be done routinely for all pregnant women or not.
Materials and Methods: This is a retrospective study that reviewed 1,000 obstetric ultrasound scans performed at the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, Sagamu between June 1998 and May 1999. The case notes and ultrasound scan records of all the patients were analyzed
Results: The age range and the mean age of the 1,000 pregnant women who had the obstetric scans were 17-42 years and 27.3 ± 2.1 years respectively. Six hundred and eight (60.8%) had routine ultrasonography (control group) while 392 (39.2%) were scanned for specific obstetric indications. In all, positive findings were seen in 328 cases (32.8%). Seventy five percent of those with specific indications for scanning had positive findings of clinical significance while only 5.6% of the control group had incidental findings of clinical significance. Positive findings on ultrasound were significantly greater in the group with specific indications for scanning, P< 0.001.
Conclusion: Our suggestion is that ultrasound examination in pregnant women should be performed only when there are clear obstetric reasons, established clinically.
Key Words: obstetric ultrasound scan, positive findings, pregnancy.
[ Trop J Obstet Gynaecol, 2004;21:11-14]
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