November 28, 1977

Biological and Clinical Aspects of the Fetus

Author Affiliations

University of Southern California Medical Center Los Angeles


edited by Yukio Notake and Shuetus Suzuki, 263 pp, with illus, $65, Baltimore, University Park Press, 1977.

JAMA. 1977;238(22):2414. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03280230078036

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This book is comprised of eight chapters, which cover topics even broader than implied in the title. The first and last chapters, entitled, "Biology of the Mammalian Embryos in the Preimplantation Stages" and "Normal and Abnormal Human Development in the Early Prenatal Stage," deal almost entirely with embryology. The six intervening chapters deal with fetal growth and the intrauterine environment, hormonal evaluations, ultrasonographic evaluations, and prenatal genetic diagnosis. The sequencing of topics is poorly done and the constant change in emphasis is detracting.

Specific clinical applications are presented that involve genetic diagnosis, ultrasonic evaluation, and estriol evaluation. The chapter "Fetal Growth and the Intrauterine Environment" presents a comprehensive overview and deals briefly with clinical application. Determination of the normal growth patterns and differentiation of abnormal states are dealt with in a practical approach. The basic physiology and pathology mechanisms relating to maternofetal circulation and placental transfer are well illustrated.