Is ultrasound screening for vasa praevia clinically justified and a financially viable screening test? A literature review.
AffiliationUniversity of Derby
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AbstractVasa praevia is an obstetric complication currently not screened for within the United Kingdom, which if undetected prenatally can lead to fetal death when the membranes rupture. Internationally, guidelines are available providing guidance on the best screening policy and management pathways. However, the UK National Screening Committee and Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists do not support screening due to a lack of evidence. Recent studies explore the ability of ultrasound to detect vasa praevia prenatally in both the general and high-risk populations. Whilst there is no consensus on the ‘best’ screening strategy, the majority of authors note that targeted screening of the high-risk population is the most achievable and cost-effective strategy. Although not infallible, a standard screening protocol could identify the majority of cases in the high-risk group. Introduction of a screening strategy would affect training needs of professionals within the UK and would have implications on the need to produce guidelines on management and quality assurance. Further research is also needed to define a relevant high-risk population and explore how this would impact on service provision. This review explores the current evidence base for systematic screening and the implications for service.
CitationColeman, G. and Venables, H. K. (2018) 'Is ultrasound screening for vasa praevia clinically justified and a financially viable screening test? A literature review', Ultrasound, 26 (1):6 .