Fetal Cystic Hygroma – Is Ultrasonography a Successful Diagnosis

Cystic Hygroma is a moist tumor that belongs to a disease group now categorized as lymphatic malformations. Radenbacher in 1828 first described this ailment in which cavernous lymphatic spaces interconnect to form large cysts that penetrate the nearby tissue. With imaging and current ultrasonography systems it is possible to discover and diagnose cystic hygromas in neonatal period however many times even after the baby is born Cystic Hygroma does not develop till the patient is older.

Cystic hygroma and allantoic cyst in a 1st trimester fetus

This is a 1st trimester fetus with both a large cystic hygroma and an allantoic cyst. Juan Camilo Arjona, MD, Jose Luis Duque, MD

In imaging systems the first ultra-sonograms that are taken are of fetal head and thorax region. Oblique longitudinal ultra-sonograms allow Cystic Hygromas to be distinguished separately from the amniotic fluid bad that surrounds the fetus. The best and immediate possible choice of fetus CH diagnosis is through Ultrasonography (US). This is readily possible and a non-invasive procedure that is used for continuous monitoring of fetal development and diagnosis of any defects in the pregnancy.

US also have some limitations which depend on the factors such as positioning of the fetus, maternal body, and how the operator does the imaging. Sometimes CH diagnosis can be missed if mistaken for amniotic pockets that are filled with amniotic fluid. Sometimes only when severe oligohydramnios are present US can determine the presence of Cystic hygroma early in the developing baby.

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