Document Detail

Human fetal growth and organ development: 50 years of discoveries.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  16580300     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Knowledge about human fetal growth and organ development has greatly developed in the last 50 years. Anatomists and physiologists had already described some crucial aspects, for example, the circulation of blood during intrauterine life through the fetal heart, the liver as well as the placenta. However, only in the last century physiologic studies were performed in animal models. In the human fetus, the introduction of ultrasound and Doppler velocimetry has provided data about the growth and development of the fetus and of the circulation through the different fetal districts. Moreover, in the last 2 decades we have learned about fetal oxygenation and fetal nutrient supply caused by the availability of fetal blood samples obtained under relatively steady state conditions. These studies, together with studies using stable isotope methodologies, have clarified some aspects of the supply of the major nutrients for the fetus such as glucose, amino acids, and fatty acids. At the same time, the relevance of placental function has been recognized as a major determinant of fetal diseases leading to intrauterine growth restriction. More recently, the availability of new tools such as 3-dimensional ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging, have made possible the evaluation of the growth and development of fetal organs. This knowledge in the healthy fetus will improve the ability of clinicians to recognize abnormal phenotypes of the different fetal organs, thus allowing to stage fetal diseases.
Giorgio Pardi; Irene Cetin
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  American journal of obstetrics and gynecology     Volume:  194     ISSN:  1097-6868     ISO Abbreviation:  Am. J. Obstet. Gynecol.     Publication Date:  2006 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2006-04-03     Completed Date:  2006-05-18     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0370476     Medline TA:  Am J Obstet Gynecol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1088-99     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
Institute of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Milano, IRCCS Foundation Policlinico, Mangiagalli and Regina Elena, Italy.
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MeSH Terms
Fetal Development* / physiology
Fetus / metabolism
Placenta / growth & development,  metabolism

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