What can be learned from cordocentesis?

J. R. Wax, K. J. Blakemore

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Cordocentesis is a well-accepted procedure that is widely practiced by experienced perinatologists. Its facile and safe access to the fetal circulation has broadened the spectrum of congenital disorders diagnosed prenatally. Some fetal disease states can now be identified and treated earlier, directly, more quickly, and more effectively than before, resulting in improved patient care. Although cordocentesis has been embraced by the perinatal community, it is, by definition, a technique of obtaining a fetal blood sample. A prerequisite for the procedure to exert its full impact on perinatal care is a highly capable clinical laboratory. The facility must be aware of the commonly requested fetal serologic, hematologic, and serum chemistry studies, as well as their normal values. Efforts must be made to perform fetal blood studies rapidly and reliably on small specimens. Laboratory personnel should be familiar with the indications and pitfalls of these tests and those that are best referred to a specialty laboratory. A general understanding of the perinatologist's needs and concerns will lead to a cooperative working relationship between clinician and laboratory. In this manner, we will truly discover what can be learned from cordocentesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)503-522
Number of pages20
JournalClinics in laboratory medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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