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Open Neurol J. 2008;2:45-50. doi: 10.2174/1874205X00802010045. Epub 2008 Sep 5.

Unexpected perinatal loss versus Sids-a common neuropathologic entity.

Author information

1
Lino Rossi" Research Center for the study and prevention of unexpected perinatal death and SIDS, University of Milan, Italy. luigi.matturri@unimi.it

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the involvement of alterations of the central autonomic nervous system, particularly of the brainstem and cerebellum, in a wide set of victims of sudden and unexplained perinatal and infant death.

MATERIAL AND METHODS:

The study population consisted of 63 stillbirths, 28 neonatal deaths and 140 suspected SIDS. The victims were subjected to in-depth anatomopathological examination following appropriate guidelines. The protocol included, in particular, the histological evaluation on serial sections of the cardiorespiratory autonomic nervous system.

RESULTS:

A diagnosis of "unexplained death" was established for 217 of the 231 victims (59 stillbirths, 28 newborns and 130 SIDS). In a very high percentage of these deaths (84%) we observed one or more anomalies of the nuclei and/or structures of the brainstem and cerebellum related to vital functions.

CONCLUSION:

Unexpected perinatal loss should not be regarded as a separate entity from SIDS, given the common neuropathological substrates.

KEYWORDS:

Brainstem; Central Autonomic Nervous System; Developmental Alterations; Neuropathology; SIDS; Stillbirth

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