(New) antenatal ultrasound signs of fetal junctional epidermolysis bullosa: A case report and systematic review of literature

Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2023 Nov:290:43-50. doi: 10.1016/j.ejogrb.2023.08.379. Epub 2023 Aug 24.


Epidermolysis bullosa is a rare hereditary autosomal disease that is included in the heterogeneous group of genodermatosis. It is characterized by skin and mucous membranes fragility and denudation, and it can be associated with pyloric atresia. Prognosis is often poor, and death can occur in neonatal period due to severe sepsis. We present a case of fetal junctional epidermolysis bullosa in a consanguineous couple, highly suggested by previous obstetric history and several antenatal ultrasound signs, such as polyhydramnios, gastric enlargment, the "snowflake sign", abnormal external ears, signs of skin desquamation, lower limbs anomalies and chorioamniotic membrane separation. We describe a marked perioral hipoecogenicity as a novel sign of skin-mucous denudation, which could be helpful for future diagnosis. A review of literature, focused specifically on the antenatal sonography role, is also reported. Prenatal ultrasound-based diagnosis of epidermolysis bullosa is difficult, especially in apparently low risk contexts, but may be possible.

Keywords: Antenatal diagnosis; Epidermolysis bullosa; Prenatal diagnosis; Ultrasound.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review
  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Epidermolysis Bullosa* / diagnosis
  • Epidermolysis Bullosa, Junctional* / diagnostic imaging
  • Female
  • Fetus
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Diagnosis
  • Skin