Spalding's sign

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Spalding's sign is a sign used in obstetrics.[1] It is named for Alfred Baker Spalding.[2][3]

It is an indicator of fetal death.[4] When fetal death has occurred, abdominal sonar examination may reveal an overriding of the fetal cranial bones.[5] Most estimates place the precise time of fetal death at about 4–7 days before overlapping and separation of the fetal skull bones appear.[6]


  1. ^ THOMSON JL (February 1950). "The differential diagnosis of Spalding's sign". Br J Radiol. 23 (266): 122–4, illust. PMID 15409772. 
  2. ^ synd/2946 at Who Named It?
  3. ^ A. B. Spalding. A pathogonomic sign of intra-uterine death. Surgery, Gynecology and Obstetrics, Chicago, 1922, 34: 754.
  4. ^ 00509 at CHORUS
  5. ^ Template:Olds' Maternal-Newborn Nursing, 8th Edition, p1136
  6. ^ S.A.Journal of Radiology, march 1964, OVERLAPPING OF THE FOETAL SKULL BONES IN BREECH PRESENTATION L. C. HANDLER, Department of Radiodiagnosis, Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town