Last updated: September 28, 2023

Summarytoggle arrow icon

Oligohydramnios is a condition in which there is less amniotic fluid than is expected for the gestational age. Etiologies include fetal conditions such as renal tract abnormalities, chromosomal abnormalities, and congenital infections, and maternal conditions such as placental insufficiency, late or postterm pregnancy, and premature rupture of the membranes. Oligohydramnios is suspected if abdominal girth and symphysis-fundal height are smaller than expected for gestational age, but ultrasound to measure the amniotic fluid index is required to confirm the diagnosis. Treatment varies depending on gestational age; amnioinfusion can be used to reduce complications in early pregnancy, whereas induction of labor may be appropriate in late pregnancy. Complications include intrauterine growth restriction, Potter sequence, and complications during labor and delivery, e.g., umbilical cord compression.

Diagnosticstoggle arrow icon

  • Small abdominal girth and uterine size for gestational age
  • Ultrasound: Determine amniotic fluid and assess for fetal anomalies.
  • Amniotic fluid index (AFI): a semiquantitative tool used to assess amniotic fluid volume (normal range: 8–18 cm)
    • Determined by dividing the uterus into 4 quadrants, holding the transducer perpendicular to the patient's spine, and adding up the deepest vertical pocket of fluid in each quadrant
    • Oligohydramnios: ≤ 5
    • In pregnancies < 24 weeks and multiple gestations, the single deepest pocket is used (normal range: 2–8 cm).

Treatmenttoggle arrow icon

Complicationstoggle arrow icon

Potter babies cannot Pee.

POTTER sequence: Pulmonary hypoplasia (lethal), Oligohydramnios (origin), Twisted facies, Twisted skin, Extremity deformities, and Renal agenesis (classic form).

We list the most important complications. The selection is not exhaustive.

Referencestoggle arrow icon

  1. Dubil EA, Magann EF. Amniotic fluid as a vital sign for fetal wellbeing. Australasian Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine. 2013; 16 (2): p.62-70.doi: 10.1002/j.2205-0140.2013.tb00167.x . | Open in Read by QxMD
  2. Mousavi AS, Hashemi N, Kashanian M, Sheikhansari N, Bordbar A, Parashi S. Comparison between maternal and neonatal outcome of PPROM in the cases of amniotic fluid index (AFI) of more and less than 5 cm. J Obstet Gynaecol (Lahore). 2018; 38 (5): p.611-615.doi: 10.1080/01443615.2017.1394280 . | Open in Read by QxMD

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