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August 15, 1966

Polyhydramnios in Anencephaly

Author Affiliations

From the departments of pathology and oncology (Dr. Nichols) and obstetrics and gynecology (Dr. Schrepfer), University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kan.

JAMA. 1966;197(7):549-551. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110070073019

In a newborn infant with esophageal stenosis and atresia extending 9 cm, the amniotic fluid volume was found to be normal, yet this infant could not possibly have swallowed. In a case of anencephaly in which the infant had partial esophageal atresia and stenosis extending 1 cm, the infant swallowed sodium diatrizoate (Hypaque Sodium) injected into the amnion, yet the mother had polyhydramnios. Two more cases of anencephaly are presented in which the infants swallowed radiopaque media, yet both mothers had polyhydramnios. These findings emphasize that polyhydramnios is a complex phenomenon and indicate that "failure to swallow" cannot explain all such cases associated with esophageal atresia and anencephaly.