Fetal death


Appropriate Tests


A detailed autopsy may be required, including examination of the placenta.

Some causes may be recurrent; future reproductive management should be guided by the autopsy findings.

Intrauterine infection, including

  • Cytomegalovirus infection
  • Listeriosis


Chromosome abnormalities, especially

  • Turner syndrome
  • Triploidy

Cytogenetics - prenatal and fetal.

Intrauterine growth retardation, including

  • Placental insufficiency


See Phospholipid antibody syndrome.

Multiple gestation, especially

  • Twin-twin transfusion syndrome
  • Cord entanglement


Fetomaternal haemorrhage

Haemoglobin F - Kleihauer test.

Fetal haemolysis, including;

  • Hb Bart’s Hydrops fetalis
  • Haemolytic disease of the newborn


Molecular genetics - genetic disorders (Thalassaemia). See also Hydrops fetalis.

Fetal malformations


Haemangioma of cord or placenta


Amniotic bands


Maternal Diabetes mellitus



Fretts RC. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2005; 193: 1923-35.

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