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Prenatal diagnosis (or lack thereof) of arthrogryposis multiplex congenita and its impact on the perinatal experience of parents: A retrospective survey.

Prenatal Diagnosis 2024 April 6
OBJECTIVE: To examine parental experiences during pregnancies affected by Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita (AMC) by identifying commonalities, risk factors, and areas for improvement in detection rates, care protocols, and patient experience.

STUDY DESIGN: An online survey was distributed via AMC support groups on Facebook. Topics included demographics, risk factors, parental recall of sonographic findings, delivery characteristics and neonatal findings. Responses were divided into antenatally detected cases (ADCs) and postnatally detected cases (PDCs). Quantitative responses were analyzed with the Fisher exact test. Qualitative data were analyzed with thematic analysis.

RESULTS: The antenatal detection rate of arthrogryposis was 37%. Decreased fetal movement was reported by 53% and early bleeding by 21%. Sonographic findings in ADCs included clubfoot (83%), clenched hand (51%), decreased fetal movement (50%), elbow contracture (51%), and knee contracture (46%). Among ADCs, 29% delivered vaginally and 71% delivered by cesarean versus PDCs (44% vaginal, 56% cesarean). Neonatal intensive care unit admission rate was 63%. Bone fracture occurred in 9%. Detection led to a planned change in delivery mode in 33% and location in 50%. Among ADCs, 17% felt their concerns were not adequately addressed versus 43% of PDCs.

CONCLUSIONS: Antenatal detection of arthrogryposis was low. We propose enhanced screening criteria to aid prenatal diagnosis and promote utilization of more robust practice guidelines.

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