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Fetal Medicine for the MRCOG and Beyond.
  1. P Loughna
  1. Academic Division of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Nottingham City Hospital, Nottingham, UK; pam.loughnanottingham.ac.uk

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    Alan Cameron, Lena Macara, Janet Brennand, Peter Milton. (Pp 149; £22 or £16.50 to fellows and members.) RCOG Press, 2003, ISBN 1-900364-74-3.

    This book has been written in order to provide a brief but comprehensive outline of fetal medicine for postgraduate readers, in particular those studying for their MRCOG examination. It is a small, soft cover book that would fit in a pocket and could therefore be used as a frequent reference if necessary. The style of the book is generally quite relaxed, which makes it very readable. Although advances can occur in some aspects of fetal medicine at a frightening pace, the book is up to date and well referenced.

    The chapters are generally comprehensive and repetition is kept to a minimum. There are a good number of illustrations, but these at times detract from the high quality text. Many ultrasound images are difficult to interpret, even by the expert eye and some of the line drawings also fail to make their point clearly. The ultrasound colour plates in particular do not correspond directly to their legend.

    The chapter on prenatal diagnostic techniques clarifies many issues which trainees get confused, particularly in relation to procedure related loss rates and timing of procedures. However, no mention is made of the intrahepatic vein as a route for fetal blood sampling (favoured by many), neither is there mention of the need to confirm that blood obtained from the placental cord insertion is fetal rather than maternal or mixed.

    Chapter 3 covers the wide area of fetal anomaly scanning and provides a fairly comprehensive review. However, although soft markers for aneuploidy are mentioned, there is no comment regarding the differing management of isolated markers and multiple markers.

    These are relatively minor points in a short text. Overall, the book appears to be a valuable addition for trainees in particular and is priced very reasonably.

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