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Semin Neonatol. 2004 Aug;9(4):289-302.

Postmortem findings in term neonates.

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Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Division of Perinatal and Pediatric Pathology, Women and Infants Hospital, Brown Medical School, Providence, RI 02905, USA.


Neonatal deaths in infants born at term are relatively rare in the USA, occurring in 0.9/1000 live births. Congenital malformations, perinatal asphyxia, infections and inborn errors of metabolism are the leading causes. Chromosomal malformation syndromes, congenital heart disease, pulmonary hypoplasia and severe neural tube defects comprise the majority of lethal malformations. Several skeletal dysplasias are lethal in the newborn infant. Group B Streptococcus still plays a major role in neonatal mortality while deaths due to other infectious agents have decreased. Hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy is a significant cause of neonatal death. Inborn errors of metabolism have variable presentations but some, such as the fatty acid oxidation disorders, may present in neonates and cause sudden death.

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