Roberts sign refers to the presence of a gas shadow within the heart or the greater vessels, in cases of fetal death in utero. It is a rare sign caused by postmortem blood degeneration, usually seen 1-2 days after death; and may be seen as early as 12 hours.
History and etymology
First described as a sign on radiographs by J B Roberts in 1944 1; it was first described on ultrasound in 1983 by Barbara J Weinstein, American radiologist and Lawrence D Platt, American obstetrician 2.
- 1. Roberts, J.B.: Gas in the fetal circulatory system as a sign of intrauterine fetal death. Am. J. Roentgenol. 51 (1944), 631.
- 2. Weinstein BJ, Platt LD. The ultrasonic appearance of intravascular gas in fetal death. (1983) Journal of ultrasound in medicine : official journal of the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine. 2 (10): 451-4. Pubmed