Volume 62, Issue 1 p. 61-68
Original Paper

INDIAMAN-20 (INstant DIAgnosis of 20 Major ANomalies) protocol: application of IOTA diagnostic strategy to fetal anomalies

D. Paladini

Corresponding Author

D. Paladini

Fetal Medicine and Surgery Unit, IRCCS Istituto Giannina Gaslini, Genoa, Italy

Correspondence to: Prof. D. Paladini, Via Zara 24B, 16145, Genoa, Italy (e-mail: [email protected])Search for more papers by this author
V. Franzè

V. Franzè

Fetal Medicine and Surgery Unit, IRCCS Istituto Giannina Gaslini, Genoa, Italy

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M. Morena

M. Morena

Fetal Medicine and Surgery Unit, IRCCS Istituto Giannina Gaslini, Genoa, Italy

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F. Prefumo

F. Prefumo

Obstetrics Unit, IRCCS Istituto Giannina Gaslini, Genoa, Italy

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First published: 09 December 2022

ABSTRACT

Objectives

To compile a list of instant diagnoses of major fetal anomalies, and to present their sonographic descriptors and test them in a retrospective series of fetuses with congenital anomalies managed at our center.

Methods

The first step was to identify major anomalies that meet the following criteria: (1) can be diagnosed directly and unequivocally on the basis of a set of descriptors evident on a single sonographic view; (2) are among those more commonly diagnosed in utero; (3) represent major lethal or life-threatening malformations or anomalies for which no or only palliative surgery can be performed. For each of these anomalies, a sonographic descriptor was produced. The second step was to test the descriptors of the instant diagnoses in all cases with these anomalies evaluated since January 2000 in our Fetal Medicine Unit, retrieved from our electronic database. For each congenital anomaly–sonographic descriptor pair we then evaluated the presence vs absence of an unequivocal relationship between anomaly and descriptor, assessing: whether a particular descriptor in a set reference plane identified unequivocally the anomaly, i.e. the same descriptor could not be found in any other malformation; and whether a particular anomaly presented the corresponding descriptor in all cases. Finally, we evaluated whether the sonographic descriptors could be applied in all trimesters or only selectively, considering the natural history of the 20 instant diagnoses.

Results

Of the 20 instant diagnoses, five involved the central/peripheral nervous system (exencephaly/anencephaly, alobar/semilobar holoprosencephaly, cephalocele, open spinal dysraphism, complete agenesis of corpus callosum), five involved the heart (hypoplastic left heart syndrome, complete atrioventricular septal defect, severe Ebstein's anomaly, critical aortic stenosis, transposition of the great arteries), five involved the abdominal wall (left-sided congenital diaphragmatic hernia, exomphalos, gastroschisis, body-stalk anomaly) or gastrointestinal tract (duodenal atresia), and five involved the remaining systems (three urinary (autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease, multicystic dysplastic kidney, lower urinary tract obstruction), two skeletal (transverse limb defect, radial ray defect)). All of the descriptors were found to identify unequivocally the related malformations, whereas four of the malformations were not associated with their reference descriptors in every case. For example, congenital diaphragmatic hernia (left-sided) presented without the stomach in the thorax in 42/93 (45.2%) cases. Due to the natural history of the condition, not all signs were recognizable in the first trimester, some becoming evident only from the second trimester onwards.

Conclusion

We have defined sonographic descriptors that enable an unequivocal instant diagnosis for a list of 20 major congenital anomalies: the ‘INDIAMAN-20’ (INstant DIAgnosis of Major ANomalies) protocol. We believe that using this approach may facilitate focused training of less experienced operators and that it may be incorporated into artificial intelligence and deep learning protocols, further boosting the instant prenatal recognition of these lethal or life-threatening malformations. © 2022 International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology.

DATA AVAILABILITY STATEMENT

The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.