Document Detail

Post-mortem stereomicroscopic examination of embryonic and fetal hearts in the 1st trimester of pregnancy
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20486541     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Post-mortem examination of embryos and fetuses becomes increasingly important due to the development of prenatal diagnostic methods. Possibilities of visualization of embryonic and fetal heart in echocardiography and autopsy develops rapidly and due to learning curve there is a need for confirmation of results. There are different methods for visualization of cardiac anatomy. Some morphologists prefer classical histology while others use stereomicroscopy OBJECTIVES: To develop our own autopsy routine for embryonic and small fetal hearts. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Twenty five normal and malformed fetal hearts aged from 7 to 12 weeks, fixed and unfixed, were submerged in saline solution and dissected using microsurgical instruments. nikon SMZ 1500 microscope, Nikon DS-Fi1 camera and NIS-Elements 3.00 software were used for observation and documentation. The chest was opened by median sternotomy the heart was dissected in situ and sequential segmental analysis was applied. RESULTS: Detailed anatomy of atriums, interatrial septum, pulmonary and systemic veins drainage were examined. In all cases it was possible to assess morphology of chambers, atrioventricular and ventriculoarterial connections. Congenital heart defect was diagnosed in only 3 out of 25 cases: one in the 10th week of gestation (complete atrioventricular septal defect--CAVSD) and two in the 12th week of gestation (1 case of CAVSD with trisomy 21 confirmed cytogenetically and one of tetralogy of Fallot). CONCLUSION: Microautopsy of fetal heart in the 1st trimester of pregnancy is possible using stereomicroscopy and allows us to diagnose congenital heart diseases. Detailed structures are best visible when specimen is unfixed and submerged in saline solution.
Cezary Niszczota; Adam Kole?nik; Joanna Szymkiewicz-Dangel
Publication Detail:
Type:  English Abstract; Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Ginekologia polska     Volume:  81     ISSN:  0017-0011     ISO Abbreviation:  Ginekol. Pol.     Publication Date:  2010 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-05-21     Completed Date:  2010-06-07     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0374641     Medline TA:  Ginekol Pol     Country:  Poland    
Other Details:
Languages:  pol     Pagination:  197-202     Citation Subset:  IM    
Zaklad Anatomii Prawid?owej i Klinicznej, Centrum Biostruktury, Warszawski Uniwersytet Medyczny, Warszawa.
Vernacular Title:
Badanie autopsyjne serc zarodk?w i p?od?w w I trymestrze ciazy metoda stereomikroskopowa.
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MeSH Terms
Cause of Death
Coronary Vessel Anomalies / pathology
Fetal Death / pathology*
Heart / embryology*
Heart Defects, Congenital / pathology*
Heart Ventricles / abnormalities,  pathology
Microscopy / methods*
Mitral Valve Stenosis / pathology
Myocardium / pathology*
Postmortem Changes
Pregnancy Trimester, First*
Tetralogy of Fallot / pathology

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