Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed 98:F152-F154 doi:10.1136/archdischild-2011-301589
  • Short research report

Natural history of fetal trisomy 18 after prenatal diagnosis

  1. John J Morrison
  1. Galway University Hospital, National University of Ireland, Galway, Galway, Ireland
  1. Correspondence to John J Morrison, Galway University Hospital, National University of Ireland Galway, Newcastle Road, Galway, Ireland; john.morrison{at}
  1. Contributors All authors contributed to the data collection and analysis for the manuscript. All authors contributed to the writing and design of the manuscript. AB extracted information from the Fetal Medicine database, and obtained the follow-up information. KF analysed the data, and contributed to writing the manuscript. JM initiated the study, provided the intellectual analysis of the topic, and wrote the manuscript.

  • Received 22 December 2011
  • Accepted 3 April 2012
  • Published Online First 6 May 2012


Objective To evaluate the natural fetal and neonatal outcome for pregnancies with an established prenatal diagnosis of fetal trisomy 18, and a parental decision for continuation of the pregnancy.

Methods The obstetric and neonatal outcome data for 23 such pregnancies, diagnosed at a single referral Fetal Medicine Centre, were retrospectively obtained.

Results The overall intrauterine fetal death rate was 61%, with a progressive decline in live fetuses up to 39 weeks gestation. For fetuses diagnosed before 20 weeks gestation, there was a trend towards a higher intrauterine fetal death rate (88%), in comparison to those diagnosed after this period (44%) (p=0.06). For live births, the preterm delivery rate was 44%. All infants born alive died within 48 h of birth.

Conclusion These data provide reliable information for parental counselling pertaining to risk of intrauterine death when trisomy 18 is diagnosed prenatally. These findings suggest that long-term survival implications for trisomy 18 are different when it is diagnosed prenatally.


  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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