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Case Reports
. 2017 Jan;141(1):73-81.
doi: 10.5858/arpa.2016-0341-SA. Epub 2016 Oct 11.

Zika Virus-Associated Micrencephaly: A Thorough Description of Neuropathologic Findings in the Fetal Central Nervous System

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Case Reports

Zika Virus-Associated Micrencephaly: A Thorough Description of Neuropathologic Findings in the Fetal Central Nervous System

Peter Štrafela et al. Arch Pathol Lab Med. .

Abstract

Context: -The 2015 outbreak of Zika virus in Brazil resulted in a 20-times increased prevalence of congenital microcephaly in stillborns and neonates and was instrumental in raising the suspicion of a causal association between Zika virus and microcephaly.

Objective: -To provide a comprehensive description of the neuropathologic features of congenital Zika virus infection.

Design: -Autopsy evaluation of the brain from a fetus of 32 weeks and 6 days of gestation, with a prenatal diagnosis of microcephaly associated with polymerase chain reaction-confirmed, fetal, Zika virus infection.

Results: -Multiple severe pathology findings were present. These included lissencephaly, except for the occipital lobes, where some pachygyria was observed. Also present was reduction and thinning of white matter, ventriculomegaly of the lateral ventricles, and coalescent calcifications in the cortical-subcortical white matter border associated with glioneuronal outbursting into the subarachnoid space above and heterotopias below. There were small, scattered calcifications in the basal ganglia, with fewer in the white matter and germinal matrix, and none in the cerebellum and brainstem. The cerebellum and pontine base were atrophic because of Wallerian degeneration or maldevelopment of descending tracts and pontocerebellar connections.

Conclusion: -Our findings are in agreement with neuroimaging of Zika virus-associated fetal and infant micrencephalic brains and, to some extent, with neuroimaging of other intrauterine infections causing microcephaly.

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