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Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2016 Aug;95(8):845-9. doi: 10.1111/aogs.12917. Epub 2016 May 18.

Towards a new era in fetal medicine in the Nordic countries.

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Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.
Fetal Medicine Unit, Department of Obstetrics, Oslo University Hospital-Rikshospitalet, Oslo, Norway.


Fetal medicine is a subspecialty of obstetrics investigating the development, growth and disease of the human fetus. The advances in fetal imaging (ultrasonography, MRI) and molecular diagnostic techniques, together with the possibility of intervention in utero, make fetal medicine an important, rapidly developing field within women's healthcare. Therefore, a variety of specialists, such as neonatologists, pediatric cardiologists, medical geneticists, radiologists and pediatric surgeons, are necessary to adjunct in the diagnosis and treatment of the fetus as a patient. In this commentary, we provide a description of some organizational and educational aspects of fetal medicine in the Nordic countries, using examples of the management of specific conditions such as aneuploidy screening, red cell allo-immunization and fetal interventions. Clearly, there are several cultural, legal, organizational and practical differences between the Nordic countries; these are not necessarily negative, given the high standards of care in all Nordic countries. The scope of the newly founded Nordic Network of Fetal Medicine is to enhance cooperation in clinical practice, education and research between the participant countries. Hopefully, this initiative will find the necessary political and economic support from the national authorities and bring a new era in the field of fetal medicine in the Nordic region.


Fetal medicine; high risk pregnancy; prenatal screening; ultrasound

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