Spalding sign (fetal demise)

Dr Dan J Bell and A.Prof Frank Gaillard et al.

The Spalding sign refers to the overlapping of the fetal skull bones caused by collapse of the fetal brain.  It appears usually a week or more after fetal death in utero. 

This finding was originally described by Alfred Baker Spalding (1874-1942), an American obstetrician 2, on abdominal radiographs and is indicative of fetal demise.

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Article information

rID: 2065
System: Obstetrics
Section: Signs
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Spalding's sign

Cases and figures

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    Spalding sign
    Case 1: on ultrasound
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    Case 2
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    Case 3
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