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You are the specialty doctor covering the postnatal ward doing ‘baby checks’ (Newborn and Infant Physical Examination) and you are about to examine a neonate born at 39 weeks following an uncomplicated normal vaginal delivery the previous day. The midwives report no clinical concerns. The mother reports that the baby has initiated breast feeding and has passed meconium. The clinical examination is normal. The clinical notes state that an antenatal scan showed ‘echogenic bowel’. No other finding was reported. Your senior colleague advises that it would be sensible to request a postnatal ultrasound scan to ‘check that everything is ok’ before the baby is discharged.
Structured clinical question
In an asymptomatic, clinically well neonate (patient) in whom isolated echogenic bowel has been reported on the antenatal ultrasound (intervention), is postnatal ultrasonography indicated (outcome)?
PubMed and Medline databases on NHS Evidence and Web of Science were searched in June 2019. The following search terms were used: (hyperechogenic OR bright OR echogenic OR hyperechoic AND bowel) AND (postpartum OR postnatal AND ultrasound).
Ninety-four abstracts were obtained. After the removal of duplicates (n=44) and non-English language studies (n=1), 49 abstracts remained. Thirteen full-text papers which discussed the …
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