What is Fetal Medicine

Medical technology is at a zenith, still many catastrophic events like many birth defects, recurrent abortions and sudden intrauterine deaths, stillbirths and perinatal deaths remain unexplained.

Most of the fetal anomalies can be confidently diagnosed on ultrasound scan.But It may not explain the etiology (underlying cause) of a particular condition, whether it is Genetic, Viral, Bacterial, Autoimmune or Drug induced. This information is highly essential to decide the management plan.

Application of fetal medicine protocols with latest medical digital technology aims to pin down the cause at very early stages of fetal development. This helps us to suggest an appropriate plan of management in the present and subsequent pregnancies. It also helps us in minimizing reproductive failure, an agonizing obstetric event. The mystery to unexplained catastrophic events can be solved to a considerable extent.

Fetal Medicine is care of pregnant women by doctors who have training in ultrasound scanning and fetal medicine.

Our ultrasound scans are performed to the highest standards and are backed up with informative and sensitive counseling.

As prenatal diagnosis has improved, so has our capability to diagnose problems before birth. Therefore, the fetus is increasingly becoming an independent individual, and fetal medicine is the specialty that addresses this “unborn patient.”

Fetal medicine can be arbitrarily divided into

  1. Prenatal diagnosis (Non invasive or invasive)
  2. Fetal treatment. (Medical or surgical)

Prenatal diagnosis is the ever-improving ability to detect abnormal conditions of the fetus before it is born .

The most common test used for prenatal diagnosis is ultrasound.

Other modalities are maternal blood testing and invasive fetal tissue testing.

Screening studies

Screening studies are relatively simple and inexpensive tests aimed at detecting all cases of a particular anomaly within a relatively large “at risk” population. Examples are screening for spina bifida and Down syndrome. Screening for DS is carried out by examination of blood of pregnant women or an ultrasound examination or both.

Diagnostic testing

Diagnostic testing is by taking a sample of chorionic villi , amniotic fluid or fetal blood by performing Is . required before CVS ?, Amniocentesis and cordocentesis.

Who requires the services of Fetal medicine

  • Advanced maternal age
  • Previous child with mental retardation, developmental
    delay or with malformation
  • Previous child with chromosomal abnormality like Down Syndrome
  • Previous child with metabolic disorder like Phenylketonuria
  • Previous child with haematological disorder like Sickle
    cell anemia and Thalassemia
  • Previous child with Neural tube defect
  • Pregnancy with BOH
  • Prenatal exposure to teratogenic drugs and infection
  • Prenatally -- anomaly diagnosed on scan
  • Women with metabolic disorder like Diabetes and Hypothyroidism
  • Women with any chronic medical disorder
  • Family history of chromosomal abnormality
  • Family history of Single gene defects
  • Family history of Neural tube defects
  • Family history of any other congenital structural abnormalities
  • Twin or Multiple gestaion
  • Previous History of Preterm Delivery

Fetus is now considered as an individual and claims full consideration as an “unborn patient”.

Besides generalized management guidelines as in adult, each fetus demands individual evaluation towards disease process, course and Pathology.