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Neuroradiology. 2019 Jan 28. doi: 10.1007/s00234-019-02168-2. [Epub ahead of print]

Micro-computed tomography: a new diagnostic tool in postmortem assessment of brain anatomy in small fetuses.

Author information

1
Department of Neuroradiology, Grande Ospedale Metropolitano Niguarda, Milan, Italy. sophielombardi@mac.com.
2
Neuroradiology Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milan, Italy.
3
Department of Radiology, Ospedale San Gerardo, Monza, Italy.
4
Department of Health Sciences, Università di Milano-Bicocca, Milan, Italy.
5
Azienda Ospedaliera Città della Salute e delle Scienze di Torino, Presidio Ospedaliero OIRM-Sant'Anna, Turin, Italy.
6
Department of Pathology, San Gerardo Hospital, Monza, Italy.
7
Department of Pathophysiology and Transplantation, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milan, Italy.
8
Department of Radiology-Studio Diagnostico Eco, Vimercate, Italy.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

The aim of our study was to evaluate the postmortem micro-CT anatomy of early fetal human fetal brains, either in situ or isolated.

METHODS:

We studied 12 ex vivo specimens, 9 whole human fetuses (9-18 GW), and 3 isolated samples (16-26 GW). Specimens were fixed in formalin, then immersed in Lugol solution. Images were evaluated by two neuroradiologists. The depiction of CNS structures was defined based on the comparison between micro-CT images and a reference histologic anatomical Atlas of human brain development.

RESULTS:

Micro-CT provided informative high-resolution brain images in all cases, with the exception of one case (9 weeks) due to advanced maceration. All major CNS structures (i.e., brain hemispheres, layering, ventricles, germinal neuroepithelium, basal ganglia, corpus callosum, major cranial nerves, and structures of the head and neck) were recognizable.

CONCLUSIONS:

Micro-CT imaging of the early fetal brain is feasible and provides high-quality images that correlate with the histological Atlas of the human brain, offering multiplanar and volumetric images that can be stored and shared for clinical, teaching, and research purposes.

KEYWORDS:

Autopsy; Fetus; First trimester; Micro-focus computed tomography; Neuroimaging; Postmortem imaging

PMID:
30693410
DOI:
10.1007/s00234-019-02168-2

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