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Challenges of prenatal diagnosis in obese pregnant women.

Obesity rates are increasing world-wide with most of the increase in women of the reproductive age group. While recognised as an important contributor to non-communicable diseases, pregnant women with obesity are particularly at risk of not only maternal and pregnant complications but also have an increased risk of congenital malformations. Furthermore, pregnant obese women are more likely to be older and therefore at a greater risk of aneuploidy. Prenatal diagnosis in these women especially those who are morbidly obese is challenging due not only to their weight but the implications of the increase adiposity on biochemical markers of aneuploidy. In this review we discuss the current challenges in providing prenatal diagnosis for these women including those related to the ergonomics of ultrasound and those inherent in them because of their obesity. Appropriate counselling for these women should include the lower sensitivity of the tests, the difficulties in performing some of the procedures (imaging and invasive testing) as well as the increased risk of structural abnormalities related to their obesity.

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