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June 24, 1974

An Application of Fetography

Author Affiliations

University of Palermo Italy

JAMA. 1974;228(13):1639. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230380017011

To the Editor.—  Aminiography performed with an oil-soluble contrast medium is called fetography.1 This procedure outlines the fetal surfaces, and thus far has been used to detect fetal soft tissue malformations, to facilitate intrauterine transfusion by outlining the fetal anterior abdominal wall, and occasionally to determine the sex of the fetus.2A contrast medium that has a particular affinity for the vernix caseosa is necessary. Only by making evident the vernix on the fetal skin is it possible to obtain a good outline of the fetus. The vernix caseosa disappears from the fetal body surface toward the end of the normal period of gestation, and is always absent from the skin of some dystrophic fetuses.3Thus, when fetography fails to visualize the fetal borders, and fragments of vernix caseosa coated by contrast medium appear within the amniotic fluid, one may assume that the fetus is dystrophic or