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Potter syndrome

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A condition characterized by oligohydramnios in utero due to failure of fetus to develop kidneys


Potter syndrome is a condition wherein there is little or no amniotic fluid surrounding the fetus inside the womb. The amniotic fluid is the fluid surrounding the growing fetus. It is contained within the amniotic sac. This fluid is essential since it cushions the developing fetus from injury. It is formed from the maternal plasma. The fetus also contributes to it by excreting urine. When there is not enough amniotic fluid, the condition is referred to as oligohydramnios. The fetus with Potter syndrome would have a kidney abnormality, i.e. the kidneys do not develop in the first few weeks of life in utero. Without these kidneys, there would be insufficient amniotic fluid that would expand the womb around the fetus.1 As such, the fetus would have less space to move and grow. Another possible complication is a hypoplastic lung. A hypoplastic lung is an underdeveloped lung and life-threatening. The underdeveloped lung due to oligohyramnios may lead to inefficient lung function, particularly oxygenation, and to perinatal death.2


  • Potter's syndrome

See also:

1 Henley, A. & Kohner, N. (2003). When A Baby Dies: The Experience of Late Miscarriage, Stillbirth and Neonatal Death. Routledge. p.201.
2 Oligohydramnios. Dictionary. Retrieved from [[1]].