Sonographic Examination of the Fetus Vis-à-Vis Shoulder Dystocia: A Vexing Promise

Morgen S. Doty, Leen Al-Hafez, Suneet P. Chauhan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Since antepartum and intrapartum risk factors are poor at identifying women whose labor is complicated by shoulder dystocia, sonographic examination of the fetus holds promise. Though there are several measurements of biometric parameters to identify the parturient who will have shoulder dystocia, none are currently clinically useful. Three national guidelines confirm that sonographic measurements do not serve as appropriate diagnostic tests to identify women who will have shoulder dystocia with or without concurrent injury. In summary, biometric measurements of the fetus should not be used to alter clinical management with the aim of averting shoulder dystocia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)795-802
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • neonatal brachial plexus palsy
  • shoulder dystocia
  • sonographic exam

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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