This is an exhaustive clinical treatise on labor and delivery featuring contributions from world-class authorities from the Second World Congress on Labor and Delivery (Rome, Italy, May, 1997). It contains 117 contributions documenting the latest knowledge on the endocrinology of labor, management of labor, preterm labor, fetal monitoring, maternal and fetal complications, neonatal complications, obstetric anesthesia and analgesia and alternative methods, and ethics. Includes bibliographic references and index. Professor Cosmi's foreword summarizes the importance of this far-ranging volume: "Many formidable challenges remain. For example, the mode of delivery, vaginal versus cesarean section, is a matter of continuous debate; the biophysical approach to fetal monitoring during labor is moving into the era of computers; and the invasive technique of fetal scalp blood sampling and acid-base status determination will hopefully soon be replaced by pulse oxymetry and other techniques. Ultrasounds and Doppler technology, including three-dimensional imaging, are entering the labor world. New methods of pain relief are ought and used with increased frequency. New technologies are being introduced at such a pace that soon they will be extended to the home environment, where the use of telemedicine can be applied not only for monitoring uterine activity, blood pressure and maternal glycemia, but also the neonatal cardiorespiratory system for the diagnosis and treatment of apnea of prematurity. Assisted reproduction techniques also pose a particularly intriguing challenge to the perinatology team - the obstetrician, neonatologist, anesthesiologist, midwife and nurse - because of the increasedincidence of complications during pregnancy, labor and delivery."