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Perinatal Pathology
  Perinatal Pathology - FAQs  
1 What is the role of the fetal Pathology Department? Placenta


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The Pathology Department primarily helps in analysis of fetuses with abnormalities which have been terminated. They help to answer questions related to fetal abnormality or death.
2 What happens once a fetus / placenta is brought for testing?
a. The fetus / placenta is registered with an I.D. number. If the mother has already been registered in Mediscan, it is advisable for her to bring the ID card issued to her previously. This will facilitate better analysis and reporting of abnormal findings at autopsy.
b. A detailed history of the mother is obtained - past medical history / pregnancy related problems/ drugs consumed during pregnancy etc.
c. The family history of the couple is elicited.
d. All scans and other medical reports of the mother are recorded.
e. Consent forms authorizing the Department to proceed with analysis of the fetus, have to be signed.
3 What does the examination consist of?
a. X - rays of the fetus are taken
b. The fetus is examined in detail externally - head to foot, all possible and relevant measurements are recorded.
c. The internal organs are then examined in detail.
d. All relevant and necessary tissues are examined under the microscope for more details.
4 What does the report consist of?
a. A report consists of a detailed explanation of what was normal / abnormal in the fetus.
b. All the abnormalities are listed
c. These findings are put together to consider the various causes and their effects.
d. Thus a complete diagnosis is arrived at wherever possible and it is reported.
e. Where a confirmed diagnosis has not been made, the closes possible conditions are enlisted.
5 What are the benefits of this examination?  
a. The report of the pathology examination is used by the geneticist/ dysmorphologist / obstetrician to counsel the couple regarding the recurrence risks of the problem in subsequent pregnancy
b. If an antenatal ultrasound has shown abnormalities, the pathology examination gives additional information in more than 30% of the patients.
c. The need for further testing for the couple can be assessed
6 Can further advice be obtained here?  
Yes, from the Genetic counseling Department, provided the referring doctor has asked for it. Hence, a written request for the same is essential. A prior appointment from the Genetic counseling Department has to be obtained.
7 How should the fetus be preserved for testing?  
The cleaned fetus / placenta have to be preserved in 10 % formalin for testing. (10 % formalin is obtained by mixing 1 part formalin with 10 parts of water).
It should be completely immersed in this liquid.
The container should be of adequate size to preserve the fetus well.
If the fetus is preserved well, the chances of finding answers are better.