Examination of the Fetus

  • Colin L. Berry


In many pathology departments products of conception are not examined in detail and sections are taken only to confirm pregnancy Much information can be obtained from these specimens, which may be of value in genetic counselling or in the management of future pregnancies. The occurrence of congenital heart disease, facial clefts, or neurospinal defects in embryos and early fetuses all have considerable predictive value in terms of the likely outcome of future pregnancies, and may help to ensure that screening techniques (e.g., α-fetoprotein determinations) are used in individuals at risk. Although many relatively complex procedures may be used on material from abortions, including cell culture with subsequent enzymatic or metabolic studies, these are not practicable in most instances or in any but a few laboratories. Nor is it desirable that they should be carried out in many centres; as Benson et al. (1979) have pointed out, there are considerable advantages in terms of experience and the control of assay techniques in carrying out tests for metabolic disease in only a few centres.


Congenital Heart Disease Fetal Weight Future Pregnancy Placental Weight Facial Cleft 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg New York 1981

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  • Colin L. Berry

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