Women's response to fetal choroid plexus cysts detected by prenatal ultrasound

E. A. Cristofalo, J. A. DiPietro, K. A. Costigan, P. Nelson, Jude Philip Crino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Objectives: To determine maternal responses to detection of a minor structural variant, the choroid plexus cyst (CPC), in their fetus on prenatal ultrasound. Study design: We interviewed 34 pregnant women with an isolated CPC detected on mid-pregnancy ultrasound about their objective experience at diagnosis, emotional response and subsequent reactions. Audiotaped, transcribed responses were evaluated by two independent raters and analyzed qualitatively and quantitatively. Results: All women reported negative emotional responses including shock, distress, fear and decreased attachment, despite counseling by 82% of providers that the CPC was probably benign. Three women underwent amniocentesis purely for reassurance after CPC detection. Most (79%) sought information beyond what their physician provided, frequently on the internet. One half of women reported that intense negative responses were temporary. However, weeks after diagnosis, 62% continued to believe that the CPC presented some danger to their baby. Conclusions: Detection of CPC prenatally can evoke profound, negative maternal emotional responses despite accurate provider counseling. Practitioners should consider these responses when counseling parents about these and other structural variants of unclear functional significance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-223
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Perinatology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2006


  • Choroid plexus cyst
  • Maternal anxiety
  • Prenatal diagnosis
  • Soft marker
  • Ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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