Detection of cleft lip by early second-trimester transvaginal sonography

Obstet Gynecol. 1994 Jul;84(1):73-6.


Objective: To describe the detection of cleft lip in the early second trimester using transvaginal sonography.

Methods: We analyzed retrospectively 14,988 ultrasound examinations conducted for fetal malformations between 12-16 weeks' gestation. Seventy-five percent of the patients were at low risk for fetal anomalies and 25% were at high risk.

Results: Eleven cases of fetal cleft lip with or without cleft palate were detected by transvaginal sonography among 14,988 fetuses (0.07%). In nine cases, no risk factors for cleft lip or palate existed. In six cases, the cleft lip represented an isolated malformation, with no other associated anomaly; in five of these six cases, the pregnancy was terminated. One additional case of a small cleft lip was not detected, for a false-negative rate of 8%.

Conclusions: The fetal lips can be scanned by transvaginal sonography in the early second trimester, and fetal cleft lip can be detected in most cases. Early second-trimester detection of cleft lip by transvaginal sonography allows informed parental choice regarding continuing or terminating the affected pregnancy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abnormalities, Multiple / diagnostic imaging*
  • Abnormalities, Multiple / epidemiology
  • Abortion, Therapeutic
  • Cleft Lip / diagnostic imaging*
  • Cleft Lip / epidemiology
  • Cleft Palate / diagnostic imaging*
  • Cleft Palate / epidemiology
  • False Negative Reactions
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Informed Consent
  • Karyotyping
  • Parents
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Second
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Ultrasonography / methods
  • Ultrasonography, Prenatal*
  • Vagina