Constituents of Amniotic Fluid: Reflections of Normal and Abnormal Fetal Maturation

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Abstract

In recent years there has been a rebirth of interest in the examination of the constituents of amniotic fluid as a possible means of assessing the condition of the intrauterine patient. Though individual samples of amniotic fluid have been subjected to examination through the centuries, little data had been gathered sequentially during gestation. The rather recent widespread use of amniocentesis, particularly in the Rh sensitized pregnancy, has made amniotic fluid available throughout gestation and has prompted comparative examination of fluid constituents at varying phases of fetal development.