Cordocentesis has been practiced as a diagnostical tool for prenatal diagnosis of intrauterine infections, hematological disorders, metabolic status of the fetus and rapid cytogenetic analysis. The performance of 198 cordocentesis is presented over 3 years of experience. A 21 gauge spinal needle is inserted via the optimal point on the maternal abdomen under real-time ultrasonic guidance into the insertion of the umbilical cord in the placenta. Successful cordocentesis were achieved in 98.5% of the cases. Termination of pregnancy was directly related to the procedure in only 1%. Hematoma surrounding the puncturing site was demonstrated in one case, but without damage to the fetus. In our series the main indication for performing cordocentesis was the need for rapid karyotyping. The use of fetal lymphocytes for chromosomal analysis offers a rapid and a reliable method for routine clinical demands. The availability of a rapid chromosomal analysis offers a considerable advantage in pregnancies of advanced gestational age. In those pregnancies it appears to be most important to have a rapid diagnosis where anatomical structural anomalies are associated with chromosomal malformations in up to 30%. The metabolic status of the fetus is considered in either acute distress or in cases of suspected sub-optimal metabolic hemostasis, where IUGR or oligohydramnios are demonstrated. Cordocentesis, even though is a new technique, turnes to play a major role in modern perinatology. The possibility of a direct rout to fetal blood vessels early during the pregnancy bears the tramendous potential of early diagnosis and treatment.
- fetal malformations
- prenatal diagnosis