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A Journal on Obstetrics and Gynecology

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Minerva Ginecologica 2008 August;60(4):317-21

language: English

Prenatal sonographic evaluation of male genitalia development

Zampieri N. 1, Zamboni C. 2, Ghidini A. 2, Borruto F. 3, Camoglio F. S. 1

1 Department of Surgical Sciences, Pediatric Surgical Unit, University of Verona, Policlinico “G.B. Rossi”, Verona, Italy
2 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Ultrasound Unit, Division of Prenatal Diagnosis, “Civile Maggiore” Hospital, Verona, Italy
3 Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Department of Women and Child-biology and Genetics, Pathology and Endocrinology of Infancy Unit, University of Verona, Verona, Italy


Aim. The aim of this study was to evaluate the sonographic development of normal fetal male genitalia.
Methods. A longitudinal study was performed on 60 male fetuses. The development of penis, prepuce and presence of testes in scrotum were observed with a high resolution transabdominal ultrasonography between weeks 11 and 40.
Results. The overall success of identifying correctly the fetal male gender increased with gestational age from 46% to 80%, and 96% at 12, 13 and 14 week, respectively. The number of the scans performed in relation to the gestational age from week 11 to week 14 improves the ability to assign the male gender and to report the penile length (P<0.05); the earliest observations of descend testis were at 24 weeks. The bilateral observation of testicular descend was at 31 weeks in 98% of fetuses.
Conclusion. Development of male genitalia is easy evaluated through the pregnancy. This could be useful to early identify male genitalia abnormalities.

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