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This 24th edition of Williams Obstetrics has been extensively and strategically reorganized. Primarily writing for the busy practitioner—those “in the trenches”—we continue to present the detailed staples of basic obstetrics such as maternal anatomy and physiology, preconceptional and prenatal care, labor, delivery, and the puerperium, along with detailed discussions of obstetrical complications exemplified by preterm labor, hemorrhage, hypertension, and many more. Once again, we emphasize the scientific-based underpinnings of clinical obstetrics with special emphasis on biochemical and physiological principles of female reproduction. And, as was the hallmark of previous editions, these dovetail with descriptions of evidence-based practices. The reorganized format allows a greater emphasis on the fetus as a patient along with expanded coverage of fetal diagnosis and therapy. These changes are complemented by more than 100 new sonographic and magnetic resonance images that display normal fetal anatomy and common fetal anomalies. Finally, to emphasize the “M” in maternal–fetal medicine, we continue to iterate the myriad medical and surgical disorders that can complicate pregnancy.

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To accomplish these goals, the text has been updated with more than 3000 new literature citations through 2014. Moreover, there are nearly 900 figures that include sonograms, MR images, photographs, micrographs, and data graphs, most in vivid color. Much of the original artwork was rendered by our own medical illustrators.

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In this edition, as before, we continue to incorporate contemporaneous guidelines from professional and academic organizations such as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Society for Maternal–Fetal Medicine, the National Institutes of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, among others. Many of these data are distilled into almost 100 newly constructed tables, in which information has been arranged in a format that is easy to read and use. In addition, several diagnostic and management algorithms have been added to guide practitioners. While we strive to cite numerous sources to provide multiple evidence-based options for such management schemes, we also include our own clinical experiences drawn from a large obstetrical service. As usual, while we are convinced that these are disciplined examples of evidence-based obstetrics, we quickly acknowledge that they do not constitute the sole method of management.

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This 24th edition shows a notable absence of four colleagues who provided valuable editorial assistance for prior volumes of Williams Obstetrics. From the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Dr. John Hauth, who served as an editor for the 21st through 23rd editions, has now directed his efforts to research endeavors. Dr. Dwight Rouse, an associate editor of the 22nd and an editor of the 23rd edition, has assumed a clinical and research role at Brown University. We will certainly miss their insightful wisdom concerning the vicissitudes of randomized controlled trials and their true meanings! Colleagues leaving us from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center include Dr. George Wendel, Jr.—associate editor for the 22nd and 23rd editions—who has now assumed the important role of overseeing development of Maintenance of Certification for the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. And leaving for practice in Montana is Dr. Jim Alexander, who served as a contributing editor for the 23rd edition. These talented clinicians provided valuable knowledge, both evidence-based and from the bedside.

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To fill the shoes of these departing stalwart colleagues, we have enlisted four new editors—all from UT Southwestern Medical Center—each of whom has expertise in important areas of contemporaneous obstetrics and maternal–fetal medicine. Dr. Jodi Dashe—who contributed extensively to the 21st through 23rd editions—joins us as editor and brings her extensive experiences and incredible skills with obstetrical sonography, fetal diagnosis, and prenatal genetics. Dr. Barbara Hoffman brings widespread clinical knowledge regarding general obstetrics and contraception as well as embryology, anatomy, and placental pathology. Dr. Brian Casey adds his in-depth obstetrical and research experience, with special interests in diabetes, fetal-growth disorders, and thyroid physiology. Dr. Jeanne Sheffield joins us with her knowledge and clinical acumen and research interests in maternal medical disorders, critical care, and obstetrical and perinatal infections.

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There are also two returning associate editors who continue to add considerable depth to this textbook. Dr. Diane Twickler uses her fantastic experiences and knowledge regarding clinical and technological advances related to fetal and maternal imaging with ultrasonography as well as with x-ray and magnetic resonance techniques. Dr. Mala Mahendroo is a talented basic scientist who continues to perform a magnificent job of providing a coherent translational version of basic science aspects of human reproduction. Finally, four new contributing editors round out the editorial team that make this book possible. Drs. Kevin Worley and Seth Hawkins bring additional strengths to the areas of clinical and academic maternal–fetal medicine. Dr. Don McIntire provided much of the data garnered from the extensive database that chronicles the large obstetrical service at Parkland Hospital and UT Southwestern Medical Center. Mr. Lewis Calver continues to do an impeccable job of supervising and rendering new artwork for this and prior editions. In toto, the strength of each contributor has added to create the sum total of our academic endeavor.

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F. Gary Cunningham
Kenneth J. Leveno
Steven L. Bloom

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