Prenatal diagnosis of gastric and small bowel atresia: a case series and review of the literature

J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2016 Sep;29(17):2753-61. doi: 10.3109/14767058.2015.1107902. Epub 2015 Nov 23.


Objective: To describe seven cases of gastrointestinal tract (GIT) obstructions and to report a skewed review of the literature.

Methods: We performed a search of our permanent perinatal database about cases with prenatal ultrasound and MRI diagnosis of gastrointestinal tract obstructions between 2006 and 2013. All cases were followed until hospital discharge and pre-natal diagnosis were confirmed by fetal MRI, postnatal imaging and/or intra-operative findings. Maternal age, parity, gestational age at diagnosis, ultrasound findings, gestational age at delivery, Apgar scores at 1 and 5 min and postnatal outcome have been recorded.

Results: We identified seven cases of gastric and small bowel atresia. Karyotype was normal in six cases and abnormal in one co-twin [46,XY dup (20) (qq13.1q13.3)dn] of a dichorionic-diamniotic pregnancy. The mean ± SD for maternal age, gestational age at diagnosis, gestational at delivery, birth weight and Apgar scores at 1 and 5 min were 30.8 ± 4.8 years, 29.8 ± 3.7 weeks, 2507.5 ± 727.5 g and 5.6 ± 2.1, 7.6 ± 1.6, respectively. All fetuses' undergone surgical procedures in the postnatal period and all of them were discharged live from the hospital.

Conclusion: Prompted antenatal detection of gastrointestinal tract obstruction using ultrasound proved to be diagnostic in all cases. Fetal MRI aid was a useful complementary diagnostic investigation. Correct pre-natal diagnosis allows adequate counseling, delivery planning and management care by a multidisciplinary team.

Keywords: Gastrointestinal obstructions; outcome; postnatal surgery; prenatal diagnosis; small bowel atresia.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Fetal Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Gastric Outlet Obstruction / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Atresia / diagnostic imaging*
  • Intestine, Small / abnormalities*
  • Intestine, Small / diagnostic imaging
  • Pregnancy
  • Pylorus / abnormalities*
  • Pylorus / diagnostic imaging
  • Ultrasonography, Prenatal*

Supplementary concepts

  • Atresia of small intestine
  • Pyloric Atresia