The first 10 weeks of pregnancy are of great importance for the developing embryo: abnormal growth and / or development during these weeks are likely to have an impact on foetal growth in the 2nd and 3rd trimester of pregnancy and subsequent health of the newborn. It is therefore of major importance to define normal and abnormal embryonic growth and development. Solid comprehension of human embryogenesis will eventually allow for early detection of any abnormalities, for instance in the case of recurrent miscarriages or pregnancies with chromosomal abnormalities. Human embryology has been studied extensively during the last centuries. However, it is quite remarkable that the classical description of normal human embryonic growth and development is generally based on information of abnormal pregnancies like miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies.

BARCO, Schering-Plough, Crosslinks, GE Medical Systems
E.A.P. Steegers (Eric) , P.J. van der Spek (Peter)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Verwoerd-Dikkeboom, C. (2008, May 8). Virtual Embryoscopy. Retrieved from