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Inducing abortion with intra-amniotic hypertonic solutions


Intra-amniotic injection of a hypertonic solution has been shown to cause abortion.1 Over 500 cases where this procedure was used without serious complications were reviewed in 1966.2 Initial enthusiasm for the method waned after Japanese and later British reports3 4 that the solution can enter the general circulation and cause death from cerebral infarction. However, when operating conditions and technique are good, this outcome is very rare. It has been suggested that salt passing into the bloodstream increases plasma osmolarity even when the injection is entirely intra-amniotic,5 but this has been challenged.6

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