Disorders Involving Amniotic Fluid

  • Isabel Stabile
  • Tim Chard
  • Gedis Grudzinskas


The volume of amniotic fluid increases progressively (10 weeks: 30 ml; 20 weeks: 250 ml; 30 weeks: 750 ml; 36 weeks: 900 ml) and then falls slightly at term (40 weeks: 800 ml). Hydramnios (polyhydramnios) is an excess of amniotic fluid (more than 2000 ml in the third trimester), usually accumulating gradually. Specific causes include: (a) maternal disease (diabetes mellitus); (b) multiple pregnancy (with uniovular twins the accumulation may be very rapid (less than 1 week — acute hydramnios) resulting in pain and premature labour); (c) fetal abnormalities (20%-50% of cases) (neural tube defects, oesophageal and duodenal atresia, congenital heart defects, Klippel-Feil syndrome, retroperitoneal fibrosis, Down’s syndrome, alpha thalassaemia, skeletal malformations); (d) fetal hydrops (Rhesus isoimmunisation, rubella, syphilis, toxoplasmosis); (e) chorioangioma of the placenta, circumvallate placenta; (f) unknown.


Amniotic Fluid Neural Tube Defect Retroperitoneal Fibrosis Renal Agenesis Premature Labour 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Isabel Stabile
    • 1
  • Tim Chard
    • 2
  • Gedis Grudzinskas
    • 3
  1. 1.Center for Prevention and Early Intervention PolicyThe Florida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA
  2. 2.Department of Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Reproductive PhysiologySt. Bartholomew’s Hospital Medical CollegeLondonUK
  3. 3.Academic Unit of Obstetrics and GynaecologyThe Royal London HospitalLondonUK

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