Rapidly developing diagnostic and therapeutic methods involving direct contact with the human fetus—fetoscopy, fetal surgery, ultrasonic scanning— demand a precise knowledge of normal structural development during gestation. Toward achieving that goal of precision, Drs. Robert Shapiro and Franklin Robinson have created an atlas described by Richard L. Sidman as “a solid piece of research, executed with considerable esthetic as well as scholarly finesse, and [which] will serve as the definitive study on an important aspect of human fetal development.”
The authors have documented the early development of the human skull in terms of gross size, shape, and the behavior of the individual bones com posing the skull with reference to their ossification centers, ossification rates, and relationships. The data are presented in very high quality photographs and radiographs of the dried skull in several relevant orientations, low magnification color photomicrographs of well sectioned and stained specimens, and color photographs of an unusually fine series of transilluminated skulls prepared by the Spalteholz method. Line drawings are also presented to assist in interpretation.
The atlas is organized according to gestational age, and a tabular summary is given of the 63 specimens ranging in age from ten to forty fetal weeks.
This will be the basic normative standard reference for studies on develop mental skeletal disorders of the head and neck; it will be useful as well in the study of developmental brain diseases. Radiologists engaged in visualizing the fetus and diagnosing fetal diseases in situ by ultrasound, computerized tomography, and other methods will find this an invaluable tool.