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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Spalding’s sign occurs after Death of foetus in uterus

071. Spalding’s sign occurs after:

1. Birth of live foetus

2. Death of foetus in uterus

3. Rigor mortis of infant

4. Cadaveric spasm


2. Death of foetus in uterus


Parikh 6th Edition Page 2.36, 5.75

Apoorva Nandy 1st Edition Page 422

Reddy 17th Edition Page 341






All Books


In intrauterine maceration, the skull vault bones may partly overlap each other. This is called as Spalding’s sign and is also detectable by X Ray examination before the birth of the dead fetus


Self Explanatory


Maceration is a process of aseptic autolysis of a fetus dead in utero. It occurs when the dead fetus remains in the utero for 3 to 4 days surrounded by liquor amnii but with exclusion of air. It does not occur if the dead fetus is born within 24 hours. It is characterized by softening and degeneration of tissues. The process is aseptic because the fetus being enclosed in the membranes is in a sterile condition.


Mummification results when death of a fetus occurs from deficient supply of blood or when liquor amnii is scanty and when no air has entered the uterus. In this condition the fetus is dried up and shriveled.


  1. Thank you. I have been trying to find information on Spalding's sign after reading the pathology report of my baby and I was having a hard time finding what it was. I just needed to understand the whole report.

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