• Early fetal anatomical sonography.

      Donnelly, Jennifer C; Malone, Fergal D; Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Rotunda Hospital, Parnell Square, Dublin, Ireland. jenniferdonnelly@rcsi.ie (2012-10)
      Over the past decade, prenatal screening and diagnosis has moved from the second into the first trimester, with aneuploidy screening becoming both feasible and effective. With vast improvements in ultrasound technology, sonologists can now image the fetus in greater detail at all gestational ages. In the hands of experienced sonographers, anatomic surveys between 11 and 14 weeks can be carried out with good visualisation rates of many structures. It is important to be familiar with the normal development of the embryo and fetus, and to be aware of the major anatomical landmarks whose absence or presence may be deemed normal or abnormal depending on the gestational age. Some structural abnormalities will nearly always be detected, some will never be and some are potentially detectable depending on a number of factors.
    • Ponderal index (PI) vs birth weight centiles in the low-risk primigravid population: which is the better predictor of fetal wellbeing?

      Cooley, S M; Donnelly, J C; Walsh, T; Kirkham, C; Gillan, J; Geary, M P; Rotunda Hospital, Dublin, Ireland. smcooley@hotmail.com (2012-07)
      Our objective was to compare Ponderal index (PI) with birth weight centiles as predictors of perinatal morbidity and to determine which best reflects the presence of placental disease. We prospectively recruited 1,011 low-risk primigravidas and calculated PI and birth weight centiles following delivery. Perinatal morbidity was defined as: pre-term birth (PTB); fetal acidosis; an Apgar score <7 at 5 min or neonatal resuscitation. Placental disease was defined as chronic uteroplacental insufficiency (CUPI); villous dysmaturity; infection or vascular pathology. Ponderal index was statistically reduced (25.33 vs 27.79 p =0.001) and the incidence of infant birth weight <9th centile was statistically higher (11.1% vs 5.1%; p =0.004) in cases with PTB and in CUPI (26.23 vs 27.84; p =0.001 and 28.2.1% vs 10.4%; p =0.002). Both PI and infant birth weight centile <9th centile for gestational age correlate with PTB, however overall, both are poor predictors of neonatal and placental disease.