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Systematic review with meta-analysis
Further research needed before late pregnancy ultrasound can be recommended for all
  1. Melissa K Whitworth,
  2. Martin Maher
  1. St Mary's Hospital, CMFT, Manchester, UK
  1. Correspondence to: Dr Melissa K Whitworth, Maternal and Fetal Health Research Department, St Mary's Hospital, CMFT, Hathersage Rd, Manchester M13 9WL, UK; Melissa.whitworth{at}cmft.nhs.uk

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Implications for practice and research

  • There is currently not enough evidence to institute routine late pregnancy ultrasound (LPU) in low-risk pregnancies.

  • There is an urgent need for trials looking at the potential impact of routine LPU on detection of fetal growth restriction (FGR). These must include management algorithms in order to assess the impact of acting on findings.

Context

Ultrasound scanning has transformed the management of pregnancy. Late pregnancy ultrasound (LPU) can be used to diagnose a range of conditions including FGR. However, there is controversy surrounding the value of routine LPU screening in unselected populations. The rationale of screening for clinical conditions which place the fetus or mother at high risk but are unlikely to be detected by clinical examination is clear, as long as subsequent management would improve perinatal outcome. Although …

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