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Research Study

Ultrasound Diagnosis

This study from Norway looked at outcomes of antenatal ultrasound diagnosis in thirty-six children with serious congenital problems.

The purpose of the study was to determine how many of the problems were detected by ultrasound before birth, and whether outcomes were better when the problem was known before birth than for babies where the problem was missed on the ultrasound and not seen until after delivery.

Thirteen babies with prenatal diagnosis were delivered by caesarean section. Nineteen of the other twenty-three with postnatal diagnosis had an uncomplicated vaginal delivery.


Those with prenatal diagnosis had shorter gestational age (about two weeks), lower birthweights, and slightly lower Apgar scores.

Of the ‘prenatal diagnosis group’ three out of thirteen (23%) died compared with one out of twenty-three (4%) of those diagnosed after birth.


This information suggests that outcomes for babies was not improved when a prenatal diagnosis had been arrived at.

AIMS Journal, Vol. 10 No. 2
Midwifery E News Vol 1 Number 5

    This study suggests there are no benefits of a      pre-natal  ultrasound to detect congenital abnormalities. In fact the data suggests babies are better off if they are not ‘diagnosed’ until after birth.


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Research study

Ultrasound and Delayed Speech


“Case control study of prenatal ultrasonography exposure in children with delayed speech”.

The purpose of this study was to determine whether there is an association between prenatal ultrasound exposure and delayed speech in children.


The findings suggest that a child with delayed speech is about twice as likely as a child without delayed speech to have been exposed to prenatal ultrasound waves.

The results indicated that the children with delayed speech had a higher rate of ultrasound exposure than the control subjects.

The authors concluded that:

“physicians might be wise to caution their patients about the vulnerability of the baby to noxious agents”.

Campbell JD, Elford RW, Brant RF.Department of Surgery, University of Calgary, Alta 

    This study suggests there are potential risks associated with ultrasound therapy for the unborn child. 


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