Fetoscopy is the endoscopic visualization of the fetus. The optimal time for doing this procedure is 18-20 weeks of gestation.
The fetoscope has a small field of view and so entire fetal visualization is difficult.
Fetoscopy provides a means of obtaining fetal skin or liver biopsies. Indications for fetoscopy include:
- fetal inspection - facial and limb defect syndromes
- fetal blood sampling - haemophilia A & B, fragile X syndrome, beta-thalassaemia, sickle cell disease, alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency
- fetal skin biopsy - lethal epidermolysis bullosa
- fetal liver biopsy - ornithine transcarbamylase deficiency Even in experienced centres, the risk of abortion with fetoscopy is about 5%.
Last reviewed 01/2018