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Percutaneous fetal cystoscopy and endoscopic fulguration of posterior urethral valves.

Percutaneous fetal cystoscopy was performed in a male fetus with ultrasonographic evidence of lower urinary tract obstruction at 19 weeks of gestation. The diagnosis of posterior urethral valves was confirmed. Percutaneous endoscopic fulguration of the valves was successfully performed at 22 weeks of gestation, and urethral patency was established. This case illustrates the feasibility of performing diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopic procedures within the human fetus for the management of a congenital anomaly. While we believe that fetal cystoscopy may improve our diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic capabilities in the management of fetuses with lower obstructive uropathy, studies are needed to establish the actual value, risks, and limitations of this new approach in fetal medicine.

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