The Tohoku Journal of Experimental Medicine
Online ISSN : 1349-3329
Print ISSN : 0040-8727
ISSN-L : 0040-8727
Regular Contributions
Prenatal Diagnosis of Sirenomelia in the Late Second Trimester with Three-Dimensional Helical Computed Tomography
Tetsuo OnoDaisuke KatsuraShunichiro TsujiHiroko YomoAkiko IshikoTakashi InoueNobuyuki KitaKentaro TakahashiTakashi Murakami
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2011 Volume 225 Issue 2 Pages 85-87


Sirenomelia is a rare congenital syndrome that is characterized by the anomalous development of the caudal region of the body. The anomalies include bilateral renal agenesis or dysgenesis and the absence of the sacrum and other vertebral defects. Sirenomelia is also known as “mermaid syndrome,” because of the one lower extremity. It is usually associated with severe oligohydramnios, and its prognosis is very poor due to pulmonary hypoplasia that is caused by severe oligohydramnios. The patient referred to our hospital at the gestational age of 27 weeks with fetal growth restriction and oligohydramnios. The estimated fetal body weight was 970 g (−4.9 S.D.). We could identify only one-side extremities, and could not identify kidneys by ultrasound examination. Because a single lower extremity and severe oligohydramnios are characteristics of the sirenomelia, we suspected sirenomelia. However, it could not be confirmed by ultrasound examination because of oligohydramnios. Therefore, we performed three-dimensional helical computed tomography (3D-CT), which is more accurate than ultrasound examinations for prenatal diagnosis of skeletal abnormalities. 3D-CT revealed an only one lower extremity. At 36 weeks and 5 days of gestation, the woman went into spontaneous labor and delivered an infant weighing 870 g. The infant has a single upper extremity and a single lower extremity. We provided supportive care for the neonate, who however died 1 hour 36 minutes after birth from severe respiratory distress. In summary, we report the correct diagnosis of sirenomelia with 3D-CT in the late second trimester.

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© 2011 Tohoku University Medical Press
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