Development of novel software to generate anthropometric norms at perinatal autopsy

Academic Article


  • Fetal and infant autopsy yields information regarding cause of death and the risk of recurrence, and it provides closure for parents. A significant number of perinatal evaluations are performed by general practice pathologists or trainees, who often find them time-consuming and/or intimidating. We sought to create a program that would enable pathologists to conduct these examinations with greater ease and to produce reliable, informative reports. We developed software that automatically generates a set of expected anthropometric and organ weight ranges by gestational age (GA)/postnatal age (PA) and a correlative table with the GA/PA that best matches the observed anthropometry. The program highlights measurement and organ weight discrepancies, enabling users to identify abnormalities. Furthermore, a Web page provides options for exporting and saving the data. Pathology residents utilized the program to determine ease of usage and benefits. The average time using conventional methods (ie, reference books and Internet sites) was compared to the average time using our Web page. Average time for novice and experienced residents using conventional methods was 26.7 minutes and 15 minutes, respectively. Using the Web page program, these times were reduced to an average of 3.2 minutes (P < 0.046 and P < 0.02, respectively). Participants found our program simple to use and the corrective features beneficial. This novel application saves time and improves the quality of fetal and infant autopsy reports. The software allows data exportation to reports and data storage for future analysis. Finalization of our software to enable usage by both university and private practice groups is in progress.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Cain MD; Siebert JR; Iriabho E; Gruneberg A; Almeida JS; Faye-Petersen OM
  • Start Page

  • 203
  • End Page

  • 209
  • Volume

  • 18
  • Issue

  • 3