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J R Soc Med. 1996 March; 89(3): 155P–158P.
PMCID: PMC1295702

Antenatal diagnosis of renal tract anomalies: has it increased the sum of human happiness?


When used as a screening procedure, ultrasound examination of the fetal urinary tract seldom leads to beneficial interventions. There is also a cost in terms of parental anxiety and unnecessary investigation and treatment. A formal screening programme would therefore be unjustified. However, screening of women for obstetric purposes will continue to reveal fetal abnormalities, and a strategy for dealing with these is needed. Antenatal treatments remain experimental; for most of the common conditions postnatal treatment has no urgency; and, in cases of minor abnormality detected by ultrasound, the best course may be to do nothing.

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Selected References

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