Isolated fetal ascites: five cases report

Changgeng Yi Xue Za Zhi. 1998 Mar;21(1):72-7.


Isolated fetal ascites is a rare abnormality that can be detected prenatally by sonography. Fetuses with transient or isolated ascites were reported to have a good outcome if the specific etiology is confirmed and the appropriate treatment is given. In this report, we present 5 cases of nonimmune fetal ascites of different etiologies and obstetric managements. Fetuses that presented with generalized hydrops, chromosomal abnormalities and viral etiologies were excluded. Four of the fetuses survived without major neonatal complications, which included one chyloperitoneum, one meconium peritonitis and 2 idiopathic causes. Spontaneous resolution occurred in three cases. The one treated with prenatal paracentesis did not experience respiratory distress after birth but the other who did not undergo the procedure showed neonatal respiratory distress. The only neonatal mortality was a case involving intestinal obstruction who developed necrotizing enterocolitis four days after the surgery. Nonimmune fetal ascites can have a good outcome by using ultrasound in establishing the specific prenatal diagnosis and surveillance.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ascites / diagnostic imaging*
  • Female
  • Fetal Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Ultrasonography, Prenatal