Prenatal Diagnosis of Clubfoot: A Review of Current Available Methodology

Folia Med (Plovdiv). 2017 Sep 1;59(3):247-253. doi: 10.1515/folmed-2017-0030.


Background: Clubfoot is one of the most common congenital limb deformities. Prenatal diagnosis of the condition is essential as it can help treat the malformation as early as possible. We reviewed the recent available literature concerning the current methods for prenatal diagnosis of clubfoot.

Methods: The following databases were searched from 1966 to 2015: PubMed, OVID, Cochrane, CINAHL, Google scholar and Embase.

Results: Out of a total number of 197 retrieved articles, after abstract or title page evaluation, 158 articles not matching the inclusion criteria were excluded. The full text versions of the remaining 39 articles were obtained, and their reference lists screened, with the addition of another 5 full-text articles.

Conclusions: Currently, ultrasonography is considered the most reliable method of prenatal diagnosis of clubfoot. Ultrasonographic diagnosis of clubfoot appears more likely between the 18th and the 24th week of pregnancy. Alternative imaging is not indicated. There is no agreement whether to propose foetal karyotyping when isolated clubfoot is diagnosed by prenatal ultrasonography. Early detection of clubfoot should prompt a careful surveillance during pregnancy in order to detect any possible additional abnormalities and, if any of these are detected, invasive testing should be offered.

Keywords: clubfoot; congenital deformities; prenatal diagnosis; ultrasound.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amniocentesis / methods
  • Clubfoot / diagnosis
  • Clubfoot / diagnostic imaging*
  • Early Diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Diagnosis / methods*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Ultrasonography, Prenatal / methods