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Fetal swallowing on antenatal USG

Assessment of fetal swallowing with gray-scale and color Doppler sonography.
Grassi R, Farina R, Floriani I, Amodio F, Romano S.
Institute of Radiology, Second University of Naples, Naples, Italy.
The study was focused on the evaluation of fluid dynamics to assess the value of gray-scale and color Doppler sonography for evaluating the development of fetal swallow-related movements from early gestation until birth.
Mandibular and/or labial movements and their rhythmic activity were seen on gray-scale sonography in an increasing percentage of fetuses as gestational age increased. Doppler findings showed an increase for nose-mouth flow signals, larynx-esophagus flow signals , and effective swallowing as gestational age increased,
There is a trend in the fetus toward development of increased coordinated movement and more functional nose-mouth flow with increasing gestational age: 32.1% of the 56 fetuses in our series achieved effective swallowing at 37-39 weeks, on the basis of gray-scale and Doppler evaluations. Knowledge of the physiologic mechanism involving swallowing development may allow identification of altered swallow-related movements in fetuses with malformations of the digestive tract or with neurologic disorders.
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Fetal swallowing on antenatal USG Reviewed by Sumer Sethi on Wednesday, November 02, 2005 Rating: 5

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