Polyhydramnios: Chronic versus acute

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      In a review of 86,301 consecutive deliveries at The New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center during a 20 year period (1948 to 1967), there were 358 cases of polyhydramnios for an incidence of 0.41 per cent. Associated maternal and fetal conditions were evaluated and compared to the clinical course and outcome of each pregnancy. Among the 358 cases of polyhydramnios, 122 (34 per cent) were associated with no cause (idiopathic), 88 (24.6 per cent) with diabetes, 71 (19.8 per cent) with congenital malformations, 41 (11.5 per cent) with erythroblastosis fetalis, 30 (8.4 per cent) with multiple gestations, and 6 (1.7 per cent) were classified as acute polyhydramnios. The value of prenatal diagnosis of congenital malformations for proper management and early neonatal therapy is discussed. Chronic and acute polyhydramnios are established as 2 distinctly different entities. Diagnosis and management for each condition are outlined. Two cases of acute polyhydramnios treated by multiple amniocenteses are presented.
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