Development of the fetal duodenum: a postmortem study

Fetal Diagn Ther. 2009;26(1):16-23. doi: 10.1159/000236354. Epub 2009 Oct 10.


Objective: To gather detailed morphometric data to be able to assess fetal development of the duodenum and its morphology.

Material and method: The present study was carried out on 222 human fetuses (114 males, 108 females) aged 9-40 weeks of gestation with no external pathology or anomaly. Fetuses were grouped based on gestational weeks, months and trimesters. Once general external measurements of the fetuses were carried out, the abdominal wall was dissected. The relationships between the duodenum and surrounding structures and its localization were determined. Morphometric data on height, width, length and diameters were gathered.

Findings: Means and standard deviations of all parameters were calculated for each gestational week, month and trimester. There were significant relations between measured parameters and gestational age (p < 0.001). There were no sex differences in parameters (p > 0.05). All data were compared with previous studies and discussed.

Conclusion: Data obtained in this study will contribute to other studies carried out in obstetrics, perinatology, forensic medicine and fetal pathology departments, aimed at identifying anomalies, pathologies and variations of the duodenum and treatment of such cases.

MeSH terms

  • Duodenum / embryology*
  • Female
  • Fetal Development*
  • Fetus / anatomy & histology*
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Male