Fetal Autopsy in a Department of Pathology

A. Lahmar, S. Ben Slama, M. Abdelaoui, M. Ben Ammar, S. Mzabi


Analysis of the foetopathological activity to determine the different causes of foetal and new-born deaths. fetal anomalies were classified in every system and placental lesions were noted.
Over a twenty year period (1993 - 2012), 343 fetal and neonatal necropsy examination was performed. We studied anomalies found in every system and also in the attached placentas. Malformations of each system were reviewed.
Our study included 59.18 % male cases and 37.82 % females. 39.73 % of cases exit from abortion, 20.88% from newborn death and 20.38 % from medical interruption of pregnancy. Placenta and/or annexes lesions were isolated and tied in the cause of death in 37 % of cases. Both fetal and placental examinations were normal in 19.83 %. Abnormalities were found in 38.33 % of fetal necropsy. The most frequent anomalies were represented by facial ones (33.63 %). Then, CNS anomalies were estimated as 21.15 % of cases. Chromosomal syndromes were noted in 28.10 % of cases.
Only a fetal coupled to a placental examination assures diagnosis of fetal and perinatal cause of death and allows better prenatal diagnosis and management for future pregnancies. Even so, we think that some anomalies, such as chromosomal, skeletal, metabolic or infectious, are still underestimated because genetic study, radiography investigation, biochemical and microbiological studies were not performed in systematic way in the department.

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