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Term: amniocentecis
Origin:  Anc Greek   
άμνιον/amnion(=membrane around a fetus)
+ κεντώ/cento(=prick)

Ø     amnio probably from /áμων < αμάω/amao(=gather)
Ø     centein from ακίς/akis(=acumen) εντός/entos(=in)

Coined: transabdominal amniocentesis in the third trimester has been reported by Prochownick, Von Schatz and Lambl in 1877 and Schatz in the 1890s.   These early procedures were used to relieve patients that were suffering from severe polyhydramnios.  The first use of amniotic fluid examination in the diagnosis of genetic disease was reported by Fuchs and Riis in 1956 in their seminal article in "Nature". They determined fetal sex from cells found in amniotic fluid, basing on the presence or absence of the Barr body.
In the mid 1960’s, Steele, Bregs, and Nadler described the performing of amniocentesis procedures in order to culture cells for a full chromosome analysis and also the measurement of alphafetoprotein (AFP). 

A prenatal test in which a small sample of amniotic fluid is drawn out of the pregmnant uterus through a needle in order to diagnose fetal defects in the early second trimester of pregnancy.

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