Prenatal diagnosis of liver calcifications

Moshe Bronshtein, Shraga Blazer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To report our experience with the prenatal diagnosis of hepatic calcification. Methods: Routine ultrasonography was done in 24,600 consecutive pregnancies of 14-26 weeks' gestation. Detailed sonographic studies, amniocenteses, and chromosomal, bacteriologie, virologic, and serologic investigations were performed in each case with calcifications. Results: Hepatic calcifications were diagnosed in 14 fetuses-an incidence of one in 1750-at gestational ages of 15-26 weeks. Twelve fetuses had one or two calcified foci, one fetus had four scattered foci, and one had diffuse calcification of the liver as well as peritoneal and intestinal calcifications. Three fetuses (21%) had associated severe malformations: two with trisomy 18 and one with dwarfism and hydronephrosis; these fetuses were aborted. One fetus with polyhydramnios and calcifications within the bowel died in utero; an autopsy was not allowed, but the external examination was normal. No case had serologic evidence of recent infection with Toxoplasma, rubella virus, cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex virus, or syphilis. Amniotic fluid (and neonatal urine where applicable) cultures for cytomegalovirus were negative. Ten fetuses were normal at birth, and nine of them were followed-up for a period of 4 months to 4.5 years. All were found to be healthy and thriving children. Conclusion: Our experience indicates that fetal hepatic calcification is not a rare ultrasonographic finding, and each fetus with such calcifications should be thoroughly evaluated for malformations, chromosomal anomalies, and viral infection. If the work-up is negative, subsequent neonatal outcome carries a good prognosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)739-743
Number of pages5
JournalObstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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