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Echogenic Bowel and IUGR

(23 Posts)
Shiviefletcher Sun 02-Sep-12 17:06:29

Hi Ladies,
Im new to this forum but wanted to write about my experience over the last couple of weeks as a way to relieve some of the stress my hubby and I are going through at the moment and maybe someone else is having a similar worrying time that can relate to this.

We went in for our 20week scan 2 weeks ago on Tues and everything was going fine until the last minute when the sonographer told us she had found two problems with the baby. The baby was measuring small/IUGR (Intrauterine growth restriction) for gestational dates and was about 2 1/2 weeks behind what it should be. It was small all over length of arms, legs and head size all being around 17 1/2weeks. The other problem was a bright bowel or medically known as an echogenic bowel. She asked me if I had bled at all as the blood can show up in the baby's abdo as quite bright on an us. I hadnt bled so didnt know what to make of this.

I was very upset to hear all this and immediately thought there MUST be a problem with the baby and could only think the worse. I was nervous going for the 20 week scan anyway as my sister was told at this scan that her baby would not survive outside the womb due to kidney problems and Doctors were right about that.

Having said that I have a lovely little boy who is 3 years old and was a v healthy 9ib 8oz when born. To be told this baby was small was a shock. We were told we would have to go to the Fetal Medical unit for further scans. While waiting for this appointment I convinced myself there was nothing to be worried about I should stay positive as the dates could easily be wrong and it was probably just a little blood that would pass through the baby and would hopefully be gone by the time we had our appointment. After a week and a half we finally had our appointment. The Doctors were concerned and told me in no uncertain terms the dates would not be wrong as the initial dating scan is precise. The echogenic /bright bowel could be an indication for cystic fibrosis but nobody in my family or hubby's family has this. The IUGR can sometimes be placental insufficiency but this was measured as being normal on the scan. The other causes could be an infection or chromosome problem. Still not knowing what the problem would be we were told I could have an amnio and bloods which is what we opted for. I am now waiting to hear the rapid results of the amnio over the next 4 days and will have to wait up to 2 weeks for other results.

After trying to be positive about this I now have to stop burying my head in the sand and face some hard facts which has me very down and worried. I dont know whether to go to work for the distraction of taking my mind off it or whether it will add to the stress. Its the unknown which is so hard I dont know if my baby is going to be ok or have problems or even survive. I guess we have to take it step by step and wait for the first results and see what happens.

Marmiteisyummy Sun 02-Sep-12 20:26:18

Haven't been in your situation, but couldn't read and run, just wanted to say how sorry I am that you're going through this and have everything crossed for a good outcome for you.
Hopefully someone with experience will be along to offer you some positive stories.
All the very best for your results.

Shiviefletcher Sun 02-Sep-12 20:42:01

Marmiteisyummy Thank you for you for taking the time to read and respond. I think this echogenic bowel problem is rare with <2% of all babies displaying it on scans which makes me think I will be lucky if anyone has recent experience of it. Although having looked online at some forums it seems to crop up more than you would expect. The combined problem of the IUGR also makes it more rare but if anyone has any experience of this I would love to know how things went for you.

Nuttyprofessor Sun 02-Sep-12 21:20:05

Hi, I have been through this recently, not myself but my DD.

Echogenic bowl and IUGR. Baby was also very inactive. Many tests followed Suspected CF but testing proved negative. Eventually diagnosed with CMV. We read about it online and information didn't look positive, caused miscarriage stillbirth, disabilities.

The pregnancy continued normally with regular scans looking for further markers. At the last scan the bowel appeared normal, I think this was about 36 weeks.

The baby was born and is now 8 months old, perfectly healthy he has hypermobility but don't think it is connected.

I found out after he was born that the most serious consequences of the infection happen when the baby is born with it. My DD and her baby had overcome the infection long before birth.

The infection appears in the mother very similar to tonsillitis.

mammmamia Sun 02-Sep-12 23:22:16

Hi, I also went through this at 20 weeks - not IUGR but echogenic bowel.

I have 2.5 year old twins. At my 20 week scan Twin 1 had echogenic bowel. We were referred to the Fetal Medicine unit for further scans but advised that it is a 'marker' and could disappear at future scans. All else was normal and we were advised not to have an amnio. We had tests for CF etc and all came back normal.

I did worry about it but at subsequent scans the bowel appeared normal and the baby was growing normally and was very active, so I tried to put it out of my head. In fact I worried more about the other twin as I couldn't feel him move much.

They were born healthy and with good weights for twins.

Really sorry you are going through this - I know how stressful it is, hope you are ok and please let us know how it goes.

Shiviefletcher Tue 04-Sep-12 20:38:39

Hi ladies,
After a weekend of worry I decided I would go to work today and try and get into my normal routine and get on with some work to take my mind off things which did help. Anyway, the Fetal Medical Unit called today and told me that the initial results of the amnio were all ok but I would still have to wait for other genetic testing of the amnio fluid, CF tests, virology etc. So this was good news and I was very relieved to hear it although I know Im not out of the woods yet.
Nuttyprofessor - I am having this test done for CMV and it is something I never knew could cause so many problems. I do recall having the odd sore throat and headache during some part of the second trimester but I have no idea if this was indicative of me having CMV. You must have all been so relieved that it didnt cause any problems in the end but your daughter could never relax throughout the pregnancy knowing the potential probs. Do you rem your daughter ever saying that she had any symptoms? This is one of the tests that should be coming back next with results and I dread to think that its a possibility. I completly know what you mean about the lack of movement as its very seldom I can feel anything although baby looks active on the ultrasound screen and Docs didnt query.
Thank you all for your responses and personal stories which must have been so hard for you too and I know how you must have felt at the time.

Cakefairy75 Fri 07-Sep-12 21:00:56

I wanted to share a positive story with you regarding cmv if that does turn out to be the case for you. Our situation at 20 weeks was identical to yours but we also had mild ventricular mealy which is basically the left ventricle in our daughters brain is 11mm instead of 10mm or below. We too were tested for cystic fibrosis, cmv etc, didn't have amnio because other then these soft markers everything else was fine. I am also only 5ft1 and was 4lb12 at birth so was never going to carry a huge baby. I was scanned every 4 weeks and asked to terminate which we refused to do. I also want to add that we had to swap rooms a few times incase the scan machines were giving false results because there are apparently error rates of about 10%. The remaining 20 weeks were hell but we did a lot if research and contacted who are based in the Uk and had a really good chat.
To cut a long story short our daughter was born on time, weighing 4lbs11, didn't have any classic Cmv symptons. We agreed to try her on a drug called valganciclovir which is given orally for 6 weeks and minimises eyesight and hearing loss by killing the virus. Our little darling is coming up to her second birthday, is bright as a button, does not have hearing or eyesight problems (checked every 6 months). She is a little bit developmentally behind in the sense that she is just starting to take unaided steps but wants to walk everywhere holding our hands.

I know all cmv babies are different and will have different outcomes. We coped with a poor prognosis at 20 weeks by looking at the facts rather then panicking. Thinking of you, if you need to know any more information please do get intouch.x

Cakefairy75 Fri 07-Sep-12 21:07:31

Forgot to say I had not heard of cmv before the 20 week diagnosis. I caught the infection in my first trimester, didn't have a clue because I wasn't I'll! One good thing about our horrible experience is that our daughter is now immune to cmv so if she ever decides to have babies of her own she won't have to go through what I went through. Even though it was an emotional roller coaster we are so glad we had her, couldn't imagine our lives without her, she is a little ray of sunshine.x

Nuttyprofessor Sat 08-Sep-12 15:23:46

Hi, yes my DD has symptoms like tonsillitis. Remember That most of the problems occur in babies born with the infection and there is every chance you and your baby can fight it off. The consultant said it is like chicken pocks, it can do a lot of damage but most of the time it doesnt.

Good luck

Shiviefletcher Mon 10-Sep-12 20:37:02

Cakefairy thank you so much for sharing your story with me. Im glad your little girl is doing well and hopefully she will catch up with her movement soon. It helps to know there are orgs out there who can provide support for this so thank you.
Nuttyprofessor thanks for getting back to me on that query and the reassurance that it might not be a problem at all.

Im still waiting for the rest of my results and havn't heard anything in about a week since they told me the results of the rapid amnio results. I hope it is soon so I can start to think about the future more i.e. focus on the arrival of this baby. The tests seem to be taking for ever to come back with results but heres hoping I will hear something soon. x x x

Sleepwhenidie Mon 10-Sep-12 20:52:56

Hi, I didn't want to read and run yet don't have time to post my whole experience of iugr...I am really sorry you are going through it, here is a thread with some stories, including mine, that will hopefully provide you with some comfort though.

Good luck, will be thinking of you xx

FitByForty Mon 10-Sep-12 21:09:52

Hi Shivie. Just wanted to add another positive story to keep you going whilst you wait for your test results.
DD was diagnosed with echogenic bowel and IUGR at 20 week scan. Tests for CF, CMV etc all came back negative. Was offered amino but decided against it. I was scanned every week from that point forward and by 26 weeks placenta flow was starting to be a bit hit and miss - good some weeks, poor others. At 27 weeks my blood pressure was raised and I had a hint of protein in my urine so I was admitted to hospital for monitoring.
I developed severe pre eclampsia at 28 +3 and DD was born by EMC weighing just 1lb 10oz. I had signs of liver and kidney failure and spent a couple of days in intensive care to recover.
DD spent approximately 3 tough months in hospital and we actually brought her home on her due date. She took a while to put on weight (only weighing 4lb 10oz when we brought her home) and there were a few hiccups along the way but we all survived it.
DD is now 6 and has just gone into Year 2 at primary school. She took a little while to reach some of her milestones but I would say by the time she was about 2.5 she was on a par with her peers. We consider ourselves to be very lucky that she has no long term health issues. She was checked very closely for the first couple of years and we were finally discharged from the hospital just before her 3rd birthday.
We were told by our consultant afterwards that the echogenic bowel can be a sign of many things, and it can be a sign of absolutely nothing. In our case, it was nothing and for that we are very grateful.
It's hard, but try to stay positive. I've got my fingers crosssd that it turns out to be nothing for you too smile

ceebeegeebies Mon 10-Sep-12 21:16:32

Just wanted to share my story of echogenic bowel with DS2. It showed up at his 20-week scan and the sonographer asked me if I had bled at all - I hadn't! Anyway, she said that you may not know as it may just go into the fluid in the womb which the baby swallows.

Scan was on a Friday and we were booked in for a further scan on the following Tuesday - weekend was pretty shit and I spent too much time on Google tbh but it was DS1's 2nd birthday so we tried not to let it ruin the weekend. Second scan showed nothing out of the ordinary and CF test came back negative.

We were sent away with no further scans for the rest of the pregnancy so had no idea if there would be anything amiss when DS2 was born...the good news is that there wasn't smile - it was just an unexplained mystery. He was born at 39 weeks by elective CS and was absolutely fine. He is now nearly 4 and perfectly healthy (if a grumpy so and so) so it is not necessarily bad news smile

Hope everything is fine for you.

Sleepwhenidie Mon 10-Sep-12 21:17:50

Hi Shivie, I've just had a look back at ds2's notes from that horrific 20wk scan - he also had an echogenic bowel. No further mention of it was made in subsequent scans though, I think growth was the first priority and I guess it turned out not to be an issue because at 2.5yo he hasn't had any bowel problems at all smile.

Hsmom's DD is also doing brilliantly by the way smile.

Cakefairy75 Mon 10-Sep-12 21:48:59

My cmv test results took over 2 weeks to come through because they had to check the bloods taken at my booking appointment at 10 weeks and compare them to the ones taken at 20 weeks. This is apparently how they find out if it was a primary infection or a recurrent infection. If it is a recurrent infection the chance of the baby being affected are almost nil because your body already has antibodies. Just wanted to share that with you incase it does take another week or so to get your results back and you worry everytime the phone rings.x

Shiviefletcher Fri 14-Sep-12 20:21:55

Hi Fit,
What a remararkable journey you went through with your pregnancy! Its interesting that the placenta only started to show problems at wk 26 - presumably its was fine up until then? We have been told at the most recent 21wk scan that the placenta seems to be working fine. We are going up to the fetal medical centre for another scan next week and I will be 24 weeks so hopefully it will still be working ok still. Its amazing your little one was so tiny when born and now progressing just like any normal child- long may it continue xx

Shiviefletcher Fri 14-Sep-12 20:41:41

Cakefairy Thank you for that reassurance about the approach to the CMV test.
I was starting to wonder what was going on until yesterday (Day 9 (excluding wknds)) when I got a call from the fetal medical centre to say: CMV, Toxoplasmosis were negative. The Cystic Fibrosis test came back with a 1 in 7000 possibility of the CF disease so that was a relief. One of the coagulents was negative and Im just waiting on the lupus coagulent which can take longer than 2wks to come back. The final results of the amnio came back today and they were all fine. We are very pleased and relieved that its none of the above we have to face as I would not know where to begin. Its amazing all of you getting in touch with me have come home with babies who were mainly healthy despite a similar scare at the 20wk scan - thanks smile it does give me a more positive feeling about it all although still a bit apprehensive about the baby's health. I guess we will just have to take it step by step and cross the bridges as we come to them. x x

Cakefairy75 Fri 14-Sep-12 21:00:06

Hi Shivie, really pleased your results are coming back negative. My parents are medics and while we were going through our traumatic time they always told us not to believe all the scans. They are there to indicate something might be wrong but there are error rates. Also a lot of the scan findings depends on how the sonographer interpreted the results and how sensitive the machines are. I am now 13 weeks pregnant with our second baby and was terrified of our 12 week scan last week, all is fine so far, thank goodness. Not looking forward to the 20 week one though! Where about in the Uk are you? We are in Oxfordshire and the care we have had from the John Radcliffe Hospital has been fantastic. I am sure your baby will be fine but if a minor problem does present itself the paediatricians are amazing these days and will have a plan in place to provide your baby with the best care and attention after birth. Take it one day at a time and keep talking to your baby.x

Shiviefletcher Fri 14-Sep-12 21:17:45

Hi Sleep
I just checked out that post that Hsmom started and its another mind blowing story and I rem reading it before I started my thread. It started off so sad with the docs saying she may loose the baby as the growth seemed to be so poor but it all turned out ok in the end. Similarily - your situation was very worrying but now you have a healthy child after going through all that.

hmm I was reluctant to use the internet to look into this problem because of the risk of reading horror stories about awful experiences but actually I was amazed to find so many positive stories on this site which filled me with alot more hope and kept me going while waiting for test results. I know we are not out of the woods yet but I feel better about this since having my results back.

Sleepwhenidie Sat 15-Sep-12 07:13:42

Hi Shivie there are certainly enough similar stories on here to encourage you to hope your experience will be the same. Honestly, when I was looking at those scan notes for you the other night, it was clear they didn't think ds2had a chance. But he carried on growing, albeit never on the chart he was so small. He's sat here with me now, having failed to lie in like I asked him to hmm, monopolising my iPhone ad asking for porridge smile.

Stay positive and keep us posted, will be thinking of you. Xx

Shiviefletcher Sat 22-Sep-12 20:23:33

Hi ladies, Well the latest is that I went to the Fetal Medical Centre again yesterday for a scan and to see the Doctor again. The baby had grown and even though I am 24 wks gestation the baby was still behind in terms of its growth at about 21 wks. So it is growing which is great and I have felt stronger movement this past week which also increased my confidence. There is just one more result which is taking a long time to come back and that is the Lupus coagulent - its already been 3 weeks since I had the test. The Doctor reassured me that the delay does not indicates a problem as it is a difficult test to do and can take time. They are going to scan me in 4 weeks time and I will have a scan in my local hospital in 2 wks to check growth and placenta function. So its a case of closer monitoring.

This is such a releif to get to this point, at last I have been able to start to enjoy the pregnancy since the 20 wk scan. I have worked out my last day at work before I go off on maternity leave so its been nice to be able to look forward...I have even allowed myself to think about names smile. I will keep u posted as to how I am getting along and hopefully all will be well, Thanks to all of you for your support thanks

Sleepwhenidie Sat 22-Sep-12 22:20:27

Hi Shivie that is such great news. I will be thinking of you and wishing you the best. Your experience so far sounds so similar to mine with ds2. Continue to be positive, sounds like there are lots of reasons to be so smile. Keep us posted. Xx

Shiviefletcher Wed 26-Sep-12 20:51:25

Thanks Sleepwhendie- It was good to be able to share stories xx

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