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J Clin Pathol. 1972 Oct;25(10):867-71.

Increased brain weight-liver weight ratio as a necropsy sign of intrauterine undernutrition.


Comparison of the brain weight/liver weight ratio(1) with the body weight of 95 stillborn and neonatally deceased infants of gestation 25-42 weeks shows that in appropriately grown infants the mean value ratio is 2.8 and is unchanged with increasing maturity. The normal range is 1.7-4.1. Survival time has no significant effect on the ratio as studied in this necropsy population. Dysmature infants of body weight less than 1 SD below the mean body weight for gestation are characterized by a brain: liver weight ratio of 4.5 or more. On the basis of these observations the brain: liver weight ratio may be employed as a guide to the prenatal nutrition of infants at necropsy.

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