Small or absent fetal stomach: prognostic significance.
PURPOSE: To investigate the outcome of fetuses with a small or absent stomach. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed sonograms in 87 fetuses with a small or absent stomach. Gestational age, amniotic fluid volume, stomach size, morphologic defects, and karyotypes were correlated with clinical follow-up or autopsy findings. RESULTS: Eight pregnancies were excluded because of oligohydramnios due to ruptured membranes. Seventy-nine fetuses with an absent (n = 27) or small (n = 52) stomach were included in the study group. Gestational ages ranged from 18 to 39 weeks (mean, 27 weeks). An abnormal outcome (structural abnormalities, intrauterine fetal or postnatal death) occurred in 23 (85%) of 27 fetuses with an absent stomach and 27 (52%) of 52 fetuses with a small stomach (combined, 63%). Karyotype was abnormal in eight (38%) of 21 fetuses with an absent stomach and two (4%) of 46 fetuses with a small stomach. CONCLUSION: An absent or small fetal stomach after 18 weeks gestation is associated with a guarded prognosis.