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J Paediatr Child Health. 2012 Nov;48(11):955-62; quiz 962. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1754.2012.02596.x.

Advances in maternal fetal medicine practice.

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  • 1Royal Hospital for Women, Australia.


Maternal fetal medicine (MFM) is a subspecialty of obstetrics that focuses on identified risk pregnancies. The role includes obstetric ultrasound for fetal assessment and diagnosis of anomalies, invasive prenatal diagnosis and management of pregnancies complicated by maternal medical disorders, multiple fetuses and the antenatal management of extreme prematurity. Skill specialisation within MFM includes fetal interventions such as fetal shunting procedures, intrauterine transfusion, fetoscopic laser photocoagulation of anastomotic vessels for twin to twin transfusion syndrome and ex utero intrapartum treatment. MFM specialists are actively involved in clinical and basic science research to improve maternal and neonatal outcomes. Most Australian MFM specialists are associated with metropolitan teaching hospitals. MFM sub-specialisation has reduced the impact of disability associated with aneuploidy, structural anomalies, multiple pregnancy and extreme prematurity. Management aims are to give families timely counselling, appropriate intervention, and optimisation of the time and location of delivery. The aim of this paper is to update the reader regarding current advances in MFM practices.

© 2012 The Authors. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health © 2012 Paediatrics and Child Health Division (Royal Australasian College of Physicians).

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