Amniocentesis

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Abstract

Amniocentesis is a surgical technique that has been used for a variety of indications. The procedure was first utilized in Germany in the early 1880s to treat polyhydramnios (Lambl, 1881; Schatz, 1882). In 1930, Menées et al. (1930) used amniocentesis to inject contrast media into the amniotic sac in order to evaluate the fetus and localize the placenta. The procedure of using amniocentesis to introduce hypertonic saline into the amniotic sac for pregnancy termination made its appearance in 1937 (Aburel, 1937). Amniocentesis utilization increased rapidly in the 1950s, when spectrophotometric analysis of bilirubin proved valuable in monitoring fetuses with Rh isoimmunization (Bevis, 1952; Walker, 1957).