Medical News

Endogamy Behind 70% of Fetal Abnormalities

Added On : 15th March 2014

The head of the Embryology Unit in Al-Ahsa Maternity and Children Hospital, Dr. Nihad Al-Kashi said the reason for fetal abnormalities in Al-Ahsa is endogamy (marriage between close kin of the first or second degree or even in the same family), which accounts for up to 70 percent of the cases.

Al-Kashi explained that malformations occur in any part of the body during pregnancy. It can affect the heart, brain, lungs, liver, bones, or even the digestive or nervous system. She said that gestational diabetes is the second leading cause of fetal malformation because it affects the fetal heart and the nerves.

Al-Kashi said that there are various reasons for fetal malformation such as genetic diseases, preeclampsia, or birth related problems to do with the baby.

“Fetal abnormalities are discovered during the 11-13 weeks of pregnancy and can be measured by the so-called thickening of the inner layer of the fetus’s neck, which may give indications of the increased chances of the fetus’s problems in the chromosomes and the tints genetics.”

“It may also refer to the possibility of fetal brain deformities, Down’s syndrome (Mongolian child), or abnormalities in the heart or circulatory system.”

“Sometimes it is hard to make an accurate diagnosis because of technical difficulties that happen during the diagnostic procedure itself such as the small amount of amniotic fluid around the fetus, or the inaccessibility of acoustic radiation to the fetus,” said Al-Kashi.

She emphasized that modern medicine techniques and its development has helped in diagnosing fetal malformation at an early stage consequently reducing the rate of birth defects.


Sultan Al-Sughair - Arab News