Intended for healthcare professionals


Autopsies using MRIs in babies and infants could help improve uptake rates

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 16 May 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f3205
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1BMJ

A large study has found that postmortem examinations in fetuses and infants up to 12 months using a combination of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and blood tests are as accurate as conventional methods.

MRI of an adult volunteer showing examples of the structures visible through imaging

The authors believe that the results provide sufficient evidence for minimally invasive autopsies to be offered routinely to parents whose babies have died, and that this could help to improve autopsy rates that have been falling for the past 40 years.

The use of postmortem examinations using MRI scans is currently restricted to only a handful of centres worldwide. Small scale studies have been reporting for more than a decade, but the accuracy of the method is uncertain.

Researchers from University College London and Great Ormond …

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