[Skip to Content]
Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
[Skip to Content Landing]
Other Articles
July 28, 1951


Author Affiliations


From the Departments of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Hospital.

JAMA. 1951;146(13):1212-1218. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.03670130034010

The present study was undertaken to clarify, if possible, the underlying pathological factors occurring in abortion, with the hope of improving the rationale for therapy. The multiplicity of mechanical and physiological factors involved in the accomplishment of a normal term pregnancy suggests that the etiology of abortion must be manifold.

Reducing the problem to its simplest terms, there are two chief factors to be considered: the germ cells and the environment. To obtain a normal conception, both the sperm and the ovum must be normal, and fertilization must occur when both are recently shed; in short, not only must the gametes be inherently normal, but also the timing of fertilization must be optimal. Next, the environmental factors must be normal for proper growth and development of the normal trophoblast. If the environment is adequate, optimal trophoblastic growth should occur. Any degree of environmental inadequacy might presumably be reflected in the