The Complexity of Fetal Imaging

Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
Obstetrics and Gynecology (Impact Factor: 5.18). 01/2009; 112(6):1351-4. DOI: 10.1097/AOG.0b013e31818f0c0c
Source: PubMed


Currently in the United States, pregnant women may obtain both medical fetal ultrasonography for screening and commercial fetal ultrasonography for entertainment purposes. The proliferation of commercial fetal ultrasonography suggests that medical screening alone does not satisfy patient expectations regarding fetal imaging. We investigated the prevalence of nonmedical fetal imaging and patient experiences and perceptions with both medical and nonmedical ultrasonography in our metropolitan area. We initiate a dialogue to explore the distinctions between medical and nonmedical fetal ultrasound imaging and the role of entertainment imaging in the medical setting. Concerns about safety, false reassurance, and unnecessary anxiety that might be generated by nonmedical ultrasonography should prompt us to examine the expectations of women regarding entertainment imaging, current clinical practice, and the potential for regulation of this commercial industry.

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