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We sought to design a realistic sonographic model and curriculum to teach normal and abnormal fetal anatomic survey to MFM fellows.
A formalin fixed fetal pig of various sizes were positioned inside a transparent water filled freezer bag. By altering fetal presentation in the x, y and z-axis, removing visual cues and changing surrounding “amniotic fluid” volumes, complexity was added to the anatomic survey. Goals of our model were to address the components of a routine fetal anatomic survery as described by The American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine.
Our model can be used to obtain fetal orientation, placental location, routine biometry measurements, and acurrately identify fetal orbits, lip, spine, stomach, lungs, cardiac axis, diaphragm, kidneys, bowel, cord insertion, bladder and long bones in a realistic manner. Abnormal sonographic findings can be seen including by not limited to pleural effusion, abdominal ascites, and megacystis. Excepting intracranial and cardiac anatomy, this model can be used as an adjunct to an actual anatomic survey performed on a patient.
No inexpensive teaching model exists to assist the Maternal-Fetal Medicine fellow with the skill and confidence needed to perform a normal fetal anatomic survey. Our model is a workable, low-cost, challenging and a realistic resource that can enhance and accelerate fellow learning of sonography. Reliance on a willing patient and time constraints of a busy ultrasound unit are absent.