A method has been developed for rapid processing of fetal skin for prenatal diagnosis of hereditary skin diseases by light and electron microscopy. Fixation, dehydration, embedding, and polymerisation can be achieved in about 5 h. The quality of tissue preservation compares favourably with that produced by slower conventional techniques. This procedure may provoke a wider interest in the potential use of fetal skin biopsy in prenatal diagnosis, especially if identification of structural abnormalities is a feasible alternative to more time consuming biochemical analysis.
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