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The aim of this study is to establish the postnatal diagnosis and outcome of all abdominal cystic lesions diagnosed antenatally over a 13-year period. All prenatally suspected and postnatally confirmed intra-abdominal cysts seen and delivered between 1991 and 2004 were identified. Antenatal diagnosis, gestational age at delivery, sex and postnatal diagnosis and outcome were recorded. Fifty-five patients were identified with an antenatal diagnosis of abdominal cystic lesion. There were 53 live births and 2 intrauterine deaths. In 13 cases (24%) the cyst had resolved on a postnatal scan. Sixteen (29%) required surgical intervention postnatally. Twenty-six (47%) were given a "non-specific" diagnosis of abdominal cyst antenatally. Three (11%) of these non-specific cysts had resolved on postnatal scan. A "specific" diagnosis of the abdominal cyst was made antenatally in 29 cases (53%) of which 12 (43%) had the diagnosis confirmed postnatally. In ten (35%) of these there was a normal postnatal scan. Antenatal ultrasound scans may not reliably predict the exact pathological diagnosis of abdominal cystic lesions. However this study provides valuable information on the proportion of correctly diagnosed lesions and those that will persist into the postnatal period allowing more informative counselling for prospective parents.

Original publication




Journal article


Pediatr Surg Int

Publication Date





763 - 765


Abdomen, Cysts, Female, Fetal Diseases, Follow-Up Studies, Gestational Age, Humans, Infant, Newborn, Male, Pregnancy, Pregnancy Outcome, Prognosis, Ultrasonography, Prenatal