Prenatal brain damage and placental infarction--an autopsy study.
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Dev Med Child Neurol 37 (6): 555--562 (June 1995)

The histopathological abnormalities seen at autopsy in the brains and corresponding placentas of a consecutive four-year series of stillborn infants are presented. After excluding stillbirths with major cerebral malformations, the brains of 175 cases and the corresponding placentas in 165 cases were available for assessment. 70 of the 175 brains (40 per cent) showed microscopic evidence of ischaemic cerebral injury, using a combination of haematoxylin-eosin and glial fibrillary acid protein stains. In 62 of these 70 brains, the periventricular white matter was the main site of damage. 46 (28 per cent) of the corresponding 165 placentas showed macroscopic and microscopic evidence of infarction, 39 of which were associated with ischaemic cerebral lesions. It was concluded that placental infarcts are commonly associated with prenatal cerebral ischaemic lesions.
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