The importance of perinatal autopsy. Review of the literature and series of cases

Vol. 58 No. 2, 2017


Maria Sorop-Florea, Raluca Niculina Ciurea, Mihai Ioana, Alex Emilian Stepan, George Alin Stoica, Florentina Tanase, Maria Cristina Comanescu, Marius-Bogdan Novac, Ioana Dragan, Ciprian Laurentiu Patru, Roxana Cristina Dragusin, George Lucian Zorila, Ovidiu Marian Carbunaru, Nuti Daniela Oprescu, Iuliana Ceausu, Simona Vladareanu, Stefania Tudorache, Dominic Gabriel Iliescu

Perinatal autopsy remains the gold-standard procedure used to establish the fetal, neonatal or infant abnormalities. Progressively, perinatal pathology has become a specialized field with important roles of audit for fetal prenatal diagnostic tools, in parents counseling regarding future pregnancies, in scientific research, for epidemiology of congenital abnormalities and teaching. The differences between prenatal ultrasound and autopsy reports represent a strong argument for the autopsy examination following termination of pregnancy. The reasons for such discrepancies are related to the ultrasonographic or pathological examination conditions, the type of the anomalies, the expertise and availability of the operators. Several facts led to an undesirable increase of refusals from parents to consent to a conventional invasive autopsy: the centralization of pathology services, the poor counseling provided by non-experts in fetal medicine and the clinicians over-appreciation of the importance of the ultrasound diagnostic investigation. Although non-invasive alternatives have been tested with promising results, conventional autopsy remains the gold standard technique for the prenatal diagnosis audit. We report and analyze several cases of prenatally diagnosed malformed fetuses with different particularities that underline the necessity of perinatal autopsy. We discuss the antenatal findings and management and post-mortem autopsies in the respective pregnancies.

Corresponding author: Stefania Tudorache, Associate Professor, MD, PhD; e-mail:; Simona Vladareanu, Associate Professor, MD, PhD; e-mail:

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