The Cost Analysis of Ultrasound Screening for Fetal Anomalies

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Saifon Chawanpaiboon
Prasert Sunsaneevittayakul
Anuwat Sutantawibul


Objectives : To determine the effectiveness of ultrasound screening for fetal anomalies at different gestational ages and to define an appropriate cost for each ultrasound screening.
Materials and methods : 470 pregnant women participated in our ultrasound screening programme from October 1st, 2002 to September 15th, 2003. 757 scans were appointed throughout the first, second and third trimesters, numbering 240,257 and 260 scans, respectively. The ultrasound cost were reduced to about 30% of the normal price (800 baht for 2-3 scans).
Results : Out of 757 scans, 7 abnormal fetuses were found. All abnormalities were detected around 18-20 weeks of gestation No abnormalities were found at other gestational ages. The abnormalities included infantile polycystic kidney, cleft lip, trisomy 13, gastroschisis and 3 cases of echogenic foci of hearts. Using this reduced cost, these pregnant women were easily able to participate in this research Programme.
Conclusion : In order to reduce perinatal morality and morbidity, ultrasound screening for fetal anomalies can be performed between 18-20 weeks gestation. If the fetus is found to be abnormal, proper management and care can be planned before delivery. An important obstacle is the high cost of having a scan performed. Therefore, a reduced cost should be considered to recruit more pregnant women to participate in this policy. A reasonable cost for each ultrasound was found to be 425 baht.


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Chawanpaiboon, S. ., Sunsaneevittayakul, P., & Sutantawibul, A. (2004). The Cost Analysis of Ultrasound Screening for Fetal Anomalies. Siriraj Medical Journal, 56(2), 63–68. Retrieved from
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