Key Point: Transvaginal ultrasound damages embryos.

Influence of Sonographic Examination on Embryo Villi during Early Pregnancy.

Jiao T, Liu L and Z Wang. Department of Ultrasound, First Central Hospital of Tianjin, Tianjin 300192, China

Journal: Zhonghua Fu Chan Ke Za Zhi. 2000 Jul;35(7):406-7. Article in Chinese.


OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effects of sonographic examination on embryo villi during early pregnancy.

METHODS: Eighty early pregnant women intended for artificial abortion were divided into 4 groups: group I served as control, the remaining 3 groups underwent pelvic sonographic examination transabdominally for 10 minutes (group II), transvaginally for 3 minutes (group III) or for 10 minutes (group IV) respectively. After 1 hour embryo villi were obtained through artificial abortion and examined by electronic microscopy, biochemical methods and sister chromatid exchanges (SCE).

RESULTS: In group IV, but not group II, III, the embryo microvilli were found broken, lost and disarranged. The rough endoplasmic reticulum of trophoblasts expanded. Their malondial dehyde levels increased while the superoxide dismutase (SOD) decreased as compared with control (P < 0.01). There was no difference of SCE among these 4 groups.

CONCLUSION: It is recommended that sonographic examination should be done through abdominal approach for shorter than 10 minutes during early stage of pregnancy.