Prenatal diagnosis of sirenomelia by two-dimensional and three-dimensional skeletal imaging ultrasound.

Research paper by Rong R Liu, Xin-lin XL Chen, Xiao-hong XH Yang, Hui-jing HJ Ma

Indexed on: 17 Dec '15Published on: 17 Dec '15Published in: Journal of Huazhong University of Science and Technology [Medical Sciences]


This study sought to evaluate the contribution of two-dimensional ultrasound (2D-US) and three-dimensional skeletal imaging ultrasound (3D-SUIS) in the prenatal diagnosis of sirenomelia. Between September 2010 and April 2014, a prospective study was conducted in a single referral center using 3D-SUIS performed after 2D-US in 10 cases of sirenomelia. Diagnostic accuracy and detailed findings were compared with postnatal three-dimensional helical computed tomography (3D-HCT), radiological findings and autopsy. Pregnancy was terminated in all 10 sirenomelia cases, including 9 singletons and 1 conjoined twin pregnancy, for a total of 5 males and 5 females. These cases of sirenomelia were determined by autopsy and/or chromosomal examination. Initial 2D-US showed that there were 10 cases of oligohydramnios, bilateral renal agenesis, bladder agenesis, single umbilical artery, fusion of the lower limbs and spinal abnormalities; 8 cases of dipus or monopus; 2 cases of apus; and 8 cases of cardiac abnormalities. Subsequent 3D-SUIS showed that there were 9 cases of scoliosis, 10 cases of sacrococcygeal vertebra dysplasia, 3 cases of hemivertebra, 1 case of vertebral fusion, 3 cases of spina bifida, and 5 cases of rib abnormalities. 3D-SUIS identified significantly more skeletal abnormalities than did 2D-US, and its accuracy was 79.5% (70/88) compared with 3D-HCT and radiography. 3D-SUIS seems to be a useful complementary method to 2D-US and may improve the accuracy of identifying prenatal skeletal abnormalities related to sirenomelia.