Gaining access to the embryonic-fetal circulation via first-trimester endoscopy: A step into the future

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Abstract

Objective:

To assess the feasibility of gaining access to the embryonic-fetal circulation via first-trimester transcervical embryoscopy.

Methods:

A fiberoptic endoscope with a 3.5-mm, wideangle lens was passed transcervically through the chorion and into the exocoelomic cavity of women undergoing pregnancy termination. A 26-gauge heparinized needle was passed through the sideport of the endoscope and inserted into the blood vessels of the chorionic plate or umbilical cord to obtain blood samples.

Results:

With a modified endoscope, we have been able to gain access into the embryonic-fetal circulation and obtain a small aliquot of blood in five of eight cases.

Conclusions:

Our experience establishes the feasibility of gaining access to the human embryonic-fetal circulation. This work is expected to serve as a basis for further studies of the diagnosis and treatment of congenital diseases in early pregnancy.

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