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A Report on Gravitational Placentography

Frank M. Behlke, M.D.; Harry W. Fischer, M.D.; William B. Goddard, M.D.
JAMA. 1961;178(5):455-461. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040440007002.
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In 61 cases of suspected placenta praevia, plain roentgenograms were made according to gravitational methods advocated by Reid and Hodge. In 47 cases such roentgenograms alone correctly excluded the diagnosis of placenta praevia. Among the other 14, the roentgenographic findings indicated either a major or a minor degree of placenta praevia. In all but one of them, a sterile vaginal examination was carried out by the obstetrician in the operating room, with all personnel and equipment ready for immediate cesarean section if necessary. The combined roentgenologic and obstetrical procedure led to accurate and appropriate management in every instance. The combined approach requires no special equipment or injection procedure. The minimal exposure to ionizing radiation is considered to be justified because of the great immediate danger to both mother and fetus in placenta praevia.


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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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