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Retrograde Fallopian Tube Transport

Carl J. Pauerstein, MD
JAMA. 1985;254(7):952. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03360070090032.
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Dr Schwartz and colleagues1 have reported vernix caseosa peritonitis after premature rupture of the membranes during the 25th week of pregnancy. They postulate that the vernix was delivered to the peritoneal cavity via retrograde transport through the fallopian tubes.

The concept of retrograde transport through the fallopian tubes is not new. Various investigations dating back to 1880 have demonstrated that small particles such as india ink, carbon, starch, and talc can be transported through the oviduct in both directions at all times in the estrus or menstrual cycle.2 In performing its normal physiological function, the oviduct must transport the sperm toward the ovary and the ovum toward the uterus. Although the mechanism of the transport of sperm from the uterus to the fimbriated end of the oviduct is not clearly defined, Eddy et al3 clearly demonstrated that in the rabbit oviduct, cilia are not essential to the


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