New Developments in Obstetrical Ultrasound

September 19, 2006
Stuart Campbell, MD
Stuart Campbell, MD

,
Joshua A. Copel, MD
Joshua A. Copel, MD

OBGYN.net Conference CoverageINTERNATIONAL SOCIETY OF ULTRASOUND IN OBSTETRICS AND GYNECOLOGY:Zagreb, Croatia

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Dr. Josh Copel: “This is Josh Copel and I’m now going to be interviewing Professor Stuart Campbell, the immediate past President of the International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology.  At this point, we’re about at the halfway point of the meeting; it’s late morning on Friday so we haven’t heard everything but I’m wondering if you can share with us what your impressions are so far about new and exciting things that we’ve heard about this year.”

Professor Stuart Campbell: “I think the thing that’s impressing me is the development of new technologies especially three-dimensional ultrasound and the ability to depict fetal anatomy especially in the first trimester.  What also impresses me is that prenatal diagnosis is going to move from the classical time in gestation of 20-22 weeks to the first trimester of around 10-14 weeks.  I’ve just seen the most wonderful presentation by Bernard Benoit from Nice in France where he was able to show the development of the fetal brain from six weeks right through to fourteen weeks and show abnormalities of the brain occurring at that period of gestation.  I think this is a real pointer for the future and 3-D ultrasound has also been invaluable in gynecology in showing congenital abnormalities of the uterus and also in showing profusion of organs and the amount of flow in organs in a volume scan so that you can get an overall assessment of how much flow is going to that organ which I think is a big advance over the classical way of picking out an individual vessel and looking at its resistance or velocity.  So there are many exciting developments going on and continuing to go on in ultrasound but I do think the developments of first trimester diagnosis are really landmark papers and will take us on well into this century.”

Dr. Josh Copel: “Last night some of us heard a presentation at an ATL event from Larry Platt in showing some of their new technology.  Do you think we need to rewrite the textbooks now in terms of what we can see and when, and will we be pushing things that much earlier that we need to redefine what’s normal anatomy as well?”

Professor Stuart Campbell:  “Yes, I think so.  The important thing, of course, is that in the first trimester this is a period of organogenesis, the brain is developing embryologically so what you can see at that gestation might seem abnormal in terms of the host embryonic developments.  One has to be very, very careful and truly understand the normal developmental anatomy and that, of course, goes for other structures as well, such as the bowel.  So while we’re very excited at the potential for early prenatal diagnosis, one has to be cautious and make sure that we get the embryology right.”

Dr. Josh Copel:  “Thank you very much.”