Assessment of liver and brain volumes at post-mortem fetal MRI comparison to organ weights at conventional autopsy.
Gallagher F, Cross J, Breeze A, Joubert I, Hackett G, Whitehead A, Jessop F, Set P, Lomas D, Lees C
University of Cambridge, Addenbrooke's Hospital
Post-mortem MRI offers a non-invasive alternative to conventional perinatal autopsy when parents decline consent. Many stillborn fetuses appear normally formed, but intrauterine growth restriction may be implicated. Signs of IUGR at autopsy include an abnormally elevated brain weight/liver weight ratio. We sought to determine whether comparable information could be obtained at post-mortem MRI by estimating brain and liver volumes (using ANALYSE software) and comparing these to the actual organ weights measured at autopsy. We observed a high correlation between organ weights and volume estimates and believe that this technique may provide important information when autopsy consent is withheld.