Latest Developments in Post-Mortem Fetal Imaging.Prenat Diagn 2019PD
A sustained decline in parental consent rates for perinatal autopsies has driven the development of less-invasive methods for death investigation. A wide variety of imaging modalities have been developed for this purpose and include post-mortem whole body MRI, ultrasound, CT and micro-focus CT techniques. These are also vital for 'minimally invasive' methods which include potential for tissue sampling, such as image guidance for targeted biopsies and laparoscopic assisted techniques. In this article we address the range of imaging techniques currently in clinical practice, and those under development. Significant advances in high field MRI and micro-focus CT imaging show particular promise for smaller and earlier gestation fetuses. We also review how MRI biomarkers such as diffusion weighted imaging and organ volumetric analysis may aid diagnosis and image interpretation in the absence of autopsy data. 3D printing and augmented reality may help make imaging findings more accessible to parents, colleagues and trainees.