Examination of the Fetus and the Neonatal Autopsy

  • Colin L. Berry


In many pathology departments products of conception are not examined in detail and sections are taken only to confirm pregnancy. Much information can be obtained from these specimens, which may be of value in genetic counselling or in the management of future pregnancies. In a study of 3472 spontaneous abortions Byrne et al. (1985) found that only 21% of the abortuses contained normal fetuses and 28% contained no fetal tissues; 16.4% of the fetuses over 10 mm long were malformed. Many of the “membrane only” cases had chromosomal anomalies. The occurrence of congenital heart disease, facial clefts, or neurospinal defects in embryos and early fetuses all have considerable predictive value in terms of the likely outcome of future pregnancies, and may help to ensure that screening techniques are used in individuals at risk.


Ossification Centre Fetal Weight Lateral Incisor Placental Weight Muscle Coat 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1989

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  • Colin L. Berry

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