Perinatal post-mortem ultrasound (PMUS): radiological-pathological correlation

Insights Imaging. 2019 Aug 21;10(1):81. doi: 10.1186/s13244-019-0762-2.


There has been an increasing demand and interest in post-mortem imaging techniques, either as an adjunct or replacement for the conventional invasive autopsy. Post-mortem ultrasound (PMUS) is easily accessible and more affordable than other cross-sectional imaging modalities and allows visualisation of normal anatomical structures of the brain, thorax and abdomen in perinatal cases. The lack of aeration of post-mortem foetal lungs provides a good sonographic window for assessment of the heart and normal pulmonary lobulation, in contrast to live neonates.In a previous article within this journal, we published a practical approach to conducting a comprehensive PMUS examination. This covered the basic principles behind why post-mortem imaging is performed, helpful techniques for obtaining optimal PMUS images, and the expected normal post-mortem changes seen in perinatal deaths. In this article, we build upon this by focusing on commonly encountered pathologies on PMUS and compare these to autopsy and other post-mortem imaging modalities.

Keywords: Autopsy; Child; Diagnostic imaging; Pathology; Ultrasound.

Publication types

  • Review