MR autopsy in fetuses

Thierry A G M Huisman, Josef Wisser, Thomas Stallmach, Gabriel P. Krestin, Renate Huch, Rahel A. Kubik-Huch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine whether postmortem magnetic resonance imaging (MR autopsy) could serve as an alternative to necropsy of fetuses. The value of MR autopsy in the validation of the obstetric management and in risk counseling concerning future pregnancies is discussed. Methods: 10 consecutive, malformed fetuses were examined by postmortem MRI within 24 h of delivery. Prenatal ultrasound (US) was performed in all fetuses. Complete necropsy served as gold standard. Results: MR autopsy confirmed every US diagnosis responsible for termination. All MRI findings were confirmed by necropsy. In two fetuses, necropsy gave additional information relevant for risk counseling. Histologic examination corrected the diagnosis in one case. Conclusions: MR autopsy provides valuable information previously only available from necropsy. In parents who refuse perinatal necropsy, the information obtained by MR autopsy can be used to validate obstetric management and to evaluate the risk for future pregnancies. Necropsy however remains the gold standard.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)58-64
Number of pages7
JournalFetal Diagnosis and Therapy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes



  • Fetus
  • Magnetic resonance autopsy
  • Necropsy
  • Obstetric management
  • Risk counseling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

Cite this

Huisman, T. A. G. M., Wisser, J., Stallmach, T., Krestin, G. P., Huch, R., & Kubik-Huch, R. A. (2002). MR autopsy in fetuses. Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy, 17(1), 58-64.