Microfocus computed tomography for fetal postmortem imaging: an overview

Daniel Docter, Yousif Dawood, Karl Jacobs, Jaco Hagoort, Roelof-Jan Oostra, Maurice J. B. van den Hoff, Owen J. Arthurs, Bernadette S. de Bakker*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Over the last few years, fetal postmortem microfocus computed tomography (micro-CT) imaging has increased in popularity for both diagnostic and research purposes. Micro-CT imaging could be a substitute for autopsy, particularly in very early gestation fetuses for whom autopsy can be technically challenging and is often unaccepted by parents. This article provides an overview of the latest research in fetal postmortem micro-CT imaging with a focus on diagnostic accuracy, endovascular staining approaches, placental studies and the reversibility of staining. It also discusses new methods that could prove helpful for micro-CT of larger fetuses. While more research is needed, contrast-enhanced micro-CT has the potential to become a suitable alternative to fetal autopsy. Further research using this novel imaging tool could yield wider applications, such as its practise in imaging rare museum specimens.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalPediatric Radiology
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Sep 2022

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