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Minerva Obstetrics and Gynecology 2022 August;74(4):325-9

DOI: 10.23736/S2724-606X.21.04851-X


language: English

Universal third-trimester obstetrical ultrasonography: a cross-sectional analysis of a national survey

Marco LA VERDE 1 , Marco TORELLA 1, Giampaolo MAININI 2, Gaetano RIEMMA 1, Anna CONTE 1, Nicola COLACURCI 1, Antonio MOLLO 3, Maurizio GUIDA 4, Ettore CICINELLI 5, Pasquale DE FRANCISCIS 1, the Board of the Società Campano-Calabro-Apulo-Lucana di Ostetricia e Ginecologia (SCCAL) 

1 Unit of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Department of Woman, Child and General and Specialized Surgery, Luigi Vanvitelli University of Campania, Naples, Italy; 2 San Leonardo Hospital, Castellammare di Stabia, Naples, Italy; 3 Schola Medica Salernitana, Department of Medicine, Surgery and Dentistry, University of Salerno, Baronissi, Salerno, Italy; 4 Unit of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Department of Neuroscience, Reproductive Sciences and Dentistry, School of Medicine, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy; 5 Department of Biomedical Sciences and Human Oncology, University of Bari, Bari, Italy

BACKGROUND: Universal third-trimester obstetrical ultrasonography represents a medical debate. The current survey was conducted to evaluate the actual use of third-trimester scan and understand gynecologists’ aptitude.
METHODS: A survey was mailed to 128 gynecologists between January and February 2020. Data about their demographic’s characteristics, hospital ward, and self-assessment questionnaires were recorded. Results were evaluated by using combined analysis.
RESULTS: Overall, 128 (29.8%) gynecologists answered. Their age ranged between 45 and 64 years (70.3% of the total, 90/128). The half part worked in hospitals and university hospitals (39.8%, 51/128 and 10.1%, 13/128, respectively), 26.5% (34/128) worked in private hospitals and 23.4% (30/128) in public ambulatories. The neonatal intensive care unit was present in 37.5% (48/128) of the cases. 96.0% of gynecologists surveyed (123/128) offered the universal third-trimester scan (28-32 weeks) and 78.1% of the physician recommended the universal 35-37 weeks ultrasonographical exam. A subanalysis among third level hospital gynecologists versus gynecologists without neonatal intensive care unit showed no statistical difference.
CONCLUSIONS: This survey reveals extensive use of third-trimester scan in low-risk pregnancy. Nevertheless, randomized controlled trials concerning the universal third-trimester scan are required to validate this clinical attitude.

KEY WORDS: Pregnancy care; Ultrasound; Universal third-trimester scan; Fetal development; Physician survey

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