The purpose of this study was to determine risk factors associated with intrauterine fetal demise in fetuses with unexplained echogenic bowel that is diagnosed in the second trimester.A retrospective case-control study compared fetuses with echogenic bowel and fetal demise with fetuses with echogenic bowel who were live born. Fetuses affected with cystic fibrosis, aneuploidy, or congenital infection and fetuses diagnosed with major anomalies were excluded. Variables examined in the determination of risk factors for intrauterine fetal demise included intrauterine growth restriction, oligohydramnios, elevated maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein levels, and elevated maternal serum beta-hCG levels. Statistical analysis was performed with the Fisher exact test, Student t test, and logistic regression analysis.One hundred fifty-six fetuses met the inclusion criteria. There were 9 cases of intrauterine fetal demise and 147 live born control fetuses. The median gestational age of intrauterine fetal demise was 22.0 weeks (range, 17-39 weeks). Intrauterine growth restriction occurred more frequently in cases of intrauterine fetal demise than in live born infants (22.2% vs 0.7%; P =.009), as did oligohydramnios (44.4% vs 2.0%; P <.001) and elevated maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein levels (80.0% vs 7.7%; P: =.001). With the use of logistic regression analysis, elevated maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein was the strongest independent risk factor that was associated with intrauterine fetal demise (odds ratio, 39.48; 95% CI, 11.04%-141.25%).In our series, there was a 5.8% incidence of intrauterine fetal demise in fetuses with unexplained echogenic bowel. Elevated maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein is the strongest predictor of fetal demise in fetal echogenic bowel.
View details for DOI 10.1067/mob.2001.117641
View details for Web of Science ID 000172396100007
View details for PubMedID 11717629