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The Fetal Dandy Walker Complex: Associated Anomalies, Perinatal Outcome and Postnatal Imaging

Harper T.a · Fordham L.A.b · Wolfe H.M.a
Departments of aObstetrics and Gynecology and bRadiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, N.C., USA Fetal Diagn Ther 2007;22:277–281 (DOI:10.1159/000100790)


Objective: This study compares the diagnostic accuracy of prenatal ultrasound with postnatal imaging and evaluates for associated fetal anomalies and their impact on immediate neonatal outcome in fetal Dandy Walker complex (DWC). Methods: Cases of fetal DWC diagnosed in a single ultrasound unit from January 2000 through July 2004 were reviewed for associated fetal anomalies, fetal karyotype, immediate neonatal outcome and postnatal head imaging. Results: A total of 55 fetuses with DWC were identified. Of liveborn cases, postnatal imaging confirmed prenatal intracranial findings in 50% of Dandy Walker variant (DWV) and 100% of Dandy Walker malformation (DWM), with additional central nervous system findings noted in 21% of all cases. Additional fetal anomalies were seen in 26/40 (65%) cases of DWV and 15/15 (100%) cases of DWM. Immediate neonatal survival was predicted by karyotype and associated fetal anomalies. Conclusion: The sonographic diagnosis of fetal DWM is accurate. Significant discrepancies exist in prenatal and postnatal diagnosis of DWV. Comprehensive fetal ultrasound and karyotype should be offered for all fetuses with DWC. Postnatal imaging should be performed on all fetal DWC.


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