Fetal hydrops is a general increase in interstitial fluid occurring prenatally, manifest as oedema, with abnormal fluid distribution in body compartments. There is usually an increase in total body water. Severe degrees of oedema are accompanied by effusions in body cavities. Fetal hydrops may be accompanied by oedema of the placenta and umbilical cord. Oedema of the placenta is not universal and when present may not be uniformly distributed through the organ; to a certain extent, its presence reflects the underlying cause of the hydropic state. Hydrops may be observed at any gestation from first trimester to term.


Obstet Gynecol Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome Pulmonary Hypoplasia Congenital Heart Block Cystic Hygroma 
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  • Jean W. Keeling

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