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The prenatal diagnosis of foetal imperforate anus is difficult. Most previous studies have been case reports. To provide useful information for diagnosing foetal imperforate anus, a retrospective review of diagnostic approaches was conducted. Ultrasonography was performed in 19 cases of foetal imperforate anus from 2016 to 2019 at our prenatal diagnostic centre. The prenatal sonographic features and outcomes of each case were collected and evaluated. The anal sphincter of a normal foetus shows the 'target sign' on cross-sectional observation. Of the 19 cases of imperforate anus, 16 cases were diagnosed by the ultrasound image feature called the 'line sign'. 1 case with tail degeneration was low type imperforate anus with the irregular 'target sign' not a real 'target sign'. There was two false-negative case, in which the 'target sign' was found, but irregular. In this study, we find that the anus of a foetus with imperforate anus presents a 'line sign' on sonographic observation. The absence of the 'target sign' and then the presence of the 'line sign' can assist in the diagnosis of imperforate anus. The 'line sign' can be used as a secondary assessment to determine the type of the malformation following non visualization of the 'target sign'. The higher the position of the imperforate anus is, the more obvious the 'line sign'. It is worth noting that the finding of the short 'line sign' and irregularr 'target sign' can not ignore the low type imperforate anus. © 2021. The Author(s).


Chan Yin, Lili Tong, Dan Nie, Zhihui Fei, Xiaoqun Tan, Mingxiang Ma. Significance of the 'line sign' in the diagnosis of congenital imperforate anus on prenatal ultrasound. BMC pediatrics. 2022 Jan 03;22(1):15

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PMID: 34980064

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