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Dev Med Child Neurol. 1997 Nov;39(11):726-30.

Ischaemic cerebral injury, intrauterine growth retardation, and placental infarction.

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Mater Children's Hospital, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.


Two hundred and twenty-five consecutive autopsies performed on fetuses >20 weeks' gestation were reviewed, and 37 growth-retarded stillborn fetuses without multiple congenital abnormalities or evidence of intrauterine infection were identified. Histological evidence of ischaemic cerebral injury was found in 31 of the 37 cases and placental infarction was seen in 26 of 36 placentas. Of the 31 cases with cerebral ischaemia, 24 had placental infarcts. Twenty-six of 27 stillborn fetuses >26 weeks' gestation showed histological evidence of cerebral ischaemia. It was concluded that in the group of growth-retarded fetuses studied, there was a high incidence of both cerebral and placental ischaemic abnormality.

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