A procedure that uses a needle to draw a sample of amniotic fluid which is then analyzed to detect chromosome abnormalities.

Amniotic Fluid

The fluid in which the embryo or fetus is suspended within the womb.



The removal and examination of tissue, cells and fluids from the living body.

Bladder Outlet Obstruction (BOO)

A blockage that prevents urine from flowing freely out of the bladder. Learn more about Bladder Outlet Obstruction.


Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS)

An alternative to amniocentesis to detect chromosomal abnormalities. The CVS can be performed earlier in fetal development.


Thread-like linear strands of DNA and associated proteins.

Congenital Defect 

A problem or condition in a human, existing at or dating from birth; acquired during development in the womb (uterus).


Congenital high airway obstruction syndrome. Learn more about CHAOS.

Congenital Cystic Adenomatoid Malformation/Congenital Pulmonary Airway Malformation (CCAM/CPAM)

Benign tumor of the lung, usually one lobe. Learn more about CCAM / CPAM.

Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH)

Malformation or absence of the diaphragm, allowing abdominal contents to enter the thoracic cavity. Learn more about Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia.

Congenital Heart Disease (CHD)

Malformation of the heart.


Congenital defect due to non-closure of membranes resulting in exteriorization of the genitourinary tract.

Colorectal Malformation

Congenital defect to the bowel involving the colon and/or rectum.



The art or act of identifying a disease from its signs and symptoms.

Diagnostic Fetoscopy

A minimally-invasive examination of the fetus by a miniature video camera inserted through a small tube into the uterus.

Diagnostic Testing

A variety of tests and procedures performed on a patient to effectively establish a diagnosis. Procedures include laboratory tests, x-rays, ultrasounds and other imaging studies. Learn more about our diagnostic services.



Ultrasound technique for evaluating the fetal heart.


Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation – a type of surgical intervention in which the patient receives support from a heart-lung machine.

Electrocardiogram (ECG Or EKG)

A test that records maternal heart rhythm and is part of the pre-operative evaluation.

Ex Utero Intrapartum Treatment (EXIT)

A surgical delivery under general anesthesia that utilizes placental support while a procedure is performed on the fetus/baby.

Ex Utero

Outside of the womb (uterus).


Fetal Echocardiography

A high resolution ultrasound test to detect structural heart abnormalities/dysfunction in the fetus.

Fetal Abnormality

A condition detected in the unborn human that is not the normal or average.

Fetal Medicine

A well-established and highly sophisticated area of medicine that covers the broad spectrum of conditions potentially treatable before a baby’s birth. Fetal medicine has been practiced for more than 20 years. Also referred to as fetology and prenatal pediatrics.

Fetal Surgeon

A specialist in fetal surgery.

Fetal Surgery

Surgical treatment of the unborn human in the womb/uterus. Learn more about our surgical services.

Fetal Therapy

Treatment of the unborn human; can be medical and/or surgical.


A specialist in fetology.


A well-established and highly sophisticated area of medicine that covers the broad spectrum of conditions potentially treatable before a baby’s birth. Fetology has been practiced for more than 20 years. Also referred to as fetal medicine and prenatal pediatrics.


A developing human, usually defined as three months after conception to birth. This stage of development follows the embryo or embryonic stage.



A congenital abdominal wall defect to the right of the umbilicus, usually containing bowel.

Genetic Counseling

Medical education of affected individuals and the general public concerning inherited (genetic) disorders.


A branch of biology that deals with the heredity and variation of organisms.



Enlarged heard due to enlarged ventricles with increased cerebrospinal fluid.


Fluid in the thoracic cavity.


In Utero

Relating to being in the womb.

Intestinal Atresia

Blockage of the intestine during fetal development.



Utilized during a surgical procedure to coagulate vessels.


Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

A noninvasive diagnostic technique that produces computerized images of internal body tissue and is based on nuclear magnetic resonance of atoms within the body induced by the application of radio waves.

Maternal-Fetal Medicine

The diagnostic monitoring and management of high-risk pregnancies; also called perinatology.

Myelomeningocele (MMC)

Learn more about Myelomeningocele.


National Institutes Of Health (NIH)

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the steward of medical and behavioral research for the nation. It is an agency under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH headquarters are located in Bethesda, Maryland, and the surrounding area. The NIH funds scientific studies at universities and research institutions across the nation, including the Fetal Care Center of Cincinnati and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.


Relating to or affecting the newborn, especially the human infant during the first month after birth.

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

An area within a hospital dedicated to the care and treatment of premature and critically ill babies with medical/surgical issues. Learn more about the Cincinnati Children’s NICU.


A baby less than a month old.


A specialist in neonatology.


A branch of medicine concerned with the care, development and diseases of newborn infants.

Nurse Practitioner

A registered nurse with advanced training who is qualified to assume some of the duties formerly assumed only by a physician. The nurse practitioner works with physicians to establish a plan of care and deliver care to patients.


A specialist in the study of nutrition.



A specialist in obstetrics.


A branch of medicine that deals with birth.


A condition in which there is too little (less than the normal range) amniotic fluid.


An anterior wall defect through the umbilicus in which exteriorized abdominal contents are covered by a membrane. A giant omphalocele contains the liver.



A specialist in pediatrics.


A branch of medicine dealing with the development, care and diseases of children.


Concerned with or being in the period around the time of birth.


A specialist in perinatology; typically has 2 to 3 years more training than an obstetrician / gynecologist.


A branch of medicine concerned with care of high-risk pregnancies. Also called maternal-fetal medicine.


Too much (larger amount than normal) amniotic fluid.


Occurring, existing or performed after birth.


Occurring, existing or performed before birth.

Prenatal Pediatrics 

A well-established and highly sophisticated area of medicine that covers the broad spectrum of conditions potentially treatable before a baby’s birth. It includes fetal surgery (surgery performed on the fetus in the womb prior to birth). Prenatal Pediatrics has been practiced for more than 20 years. Also referred to as fetology and fetal medicine.

Pulmonary Hypertension

Condition in which blood vessels in the lungs are constricted, causing decreased oxygen and right heart failure.

Pulmonary Hypoplasia

Incomplete development of lung tissue due to space occupying lesion during fetal development (i.e., CCAM/CPAM, CDH).


Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA)

A procedure that uses radio waves to generate heat to solidify tissue or block vessels.


A specialist trained in the use of radiologic diagnostic techniques, such as X-rays.


Selective Fetal Laser Photocoagulation (SFLP)

A surgical procedure utilized with twin-twin transfusion syndrome.

Shunt (Fetal)

A tube-like device placed into a fetus cavity (i.e., thorax, bladder), under ultrasound guidance, to allow drainage of the fluid into the amniotic cavity.


An image produced by ultrasound.


A person trained in the use of ultrasound.


Twin-Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS) A fetal condition that occurs when twins share one placenta with vessel connection. Learn more about Twin-Twin Transfusion Syndrome.



An organ in females for containing and nourishing the fetus during development prior to birth; also called the womb.


A technique involving the formation of a two-dimensional image used for the examination and measurement of internal body structures and the detection of abnormalities/anomalies.



 A surgical opening of the bladder to allow urine to drain.