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  Ultrasound and Chorionic Villus Sampling During Pregnancy

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By: Markus Rust, M.D.
pg. 84B.doc

(Original title: Ultraschall und Chorionbiopsie in der Schwangerschaft. Merkurstab 1994; 47:509. English by A. R. Meuss, FIL, MTA.) JAM Vol. 12, Nr. 2

A number of medical journals have reported the findings of an Australian study according to which the birth weight of children repeatedly exposed to ultrasound (US) in utero is significantly less than that of children who have only been exposed once, for example.(1)

Claims for the safety of US screening during pregnancy (and possibly also on other occasions), vehemently upheld for years, are thus clearly open to question. The study has also shown that routine US during pregnancy offers no advantages. The general recommendation is, therefore, to use it only where useful information may be expected.

Another prenatal diagnostic technique used with increasing frequency is chorionic villus sampling (CVS). Oxford scientists have shown that this has to be reassessed in view of the consequences. A causal relationship probably exists between CVS and dysmelia and, indeed, between the time when the examination is done (relative to stage of pregnancy) and the severity of the malformation.(2)

Markus Rust, MD Hubertusstr. 1 D-83022 Rosenheim, Germany 1 Newnham JP et al. Lancet 1993; 342. 2 Firth HVet al Lancet 1994; 343.

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