Handbook of Pediatric Autopsy Pathology

pp 7-83


Pediatric Autopsy: Fetus, Newborn, and Child

  • Enid Gilbert-BarnessAffiliated withLaboratory Medicine, Pediatrics and Obstetrics and Gynecology Tampa General Hospital Morsani College of Medicine, University of South Florida
  • , Diane E. SpicerAffiliated withDepartment of Pediatrics-Cardiology, University of Florida
  • , Thora S. SteffensenAffiliated withDepartment of Pathology, Tampa General Hospital

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Currently, pediatric autopsy is more accepted than adult autopsy because parents want more information about the death of their child and the implications for future pregnancies. These intricate, very valuable pathologic examinations can be performed from the embryonic stages through childhood. When combined with clinical information, this meticulous examination provides the necessary information to educate families concerning future pregnancies. The postmortem examination improves both treatment and the standard of care for the future. The normal anatomy of an adult and a child is similar; however, the prenatal/pediatric autopsy is significantly different. The variety and complexity of congenital anomalies found in perinatal and fetal autopsies are endless, and the prosector must be prepared to spend the necessary time demonstrating these anomalies. This detailed procedure can be altered to preserve any anomaly encountered, without deforming the body. The majority of the anomalies found in this population do not allow for survival to adulthood.