Principles of Late Abortion Specimen Examination

  • Dagmar K. Kalousek
  • Naomi Fitch
  • Barbara A. Paradice


Late abortion specimens, 9 to 18 developmental weeks or 11 to 20 gestational weeks, consist of an identifiable fetus and a placenta and each can be examined separately. Again, it is essential that the obstetrical history be available to the pathologist. Both fetus and placenta should be submitted fresh, and without fixation, as quickly as possible to the pathology department so that cytogenetic, microbiological, or biochemical studies can be initiated when required. If immediate transport is not possible, then the fetus and placenta should be refrigerated in a sterile, dry, tightly closed container. Fixation should be used only if refrigeration is not available and if several days’ delay in delivery to pathology is anticipated. In such cases, a small piece of fetal skin and a segment of the placenta, including the villi, the chorion, and the amnion, should be separately submitted in tissue culture media.


Female Fetus External Examination Fetal Skin Photographic Documentation Vertebral Arch 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dagmar K. Kalousek
    • 1
  • Naomi Fitch
    • 2
  • Barbara A. Paradice
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PathologyThe University of British Columbia and BC Children’s HospitalVancouverCanada
  2. 2.Department of Pathology, Lady Davis Institute, Sir Mortimer B. Davis Jewish General HospitalThe University of British ColumbiaMontrealCanada
  3. 3.Embryopathology UnitBC Children’s HospitalVancouverCanada

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