Background: Recent reports advocate the use of MRI either as a substitute for postmortem examinations or for a more targeted autopsy. Methods: A full-body postmortem MRI (pMRI) of infants was performed as early as possible after death, and findings were compared to clinical premortem diagnoses. Results: Thirty-one infants were scanned during the study period. Median gestation at birth was 34 weeks (ranges: 24-43). In 3 (10%) cases, no new findings were detected. In 2 (6%), new minor findings not related to the cause of death were detected, and in 17 (55%), new minor findings related to the cause of death were detected. New major findings related to the cause of death were detected in 4 (13%) cases, and new major findings not related to the cause of death were detected in 5 (16%) cases. In 3 (10%), findings thought to alter the perceived cause of death were detected. Overall, in 23 (74%) cases, pMRI findings reinforced the clinical premortem diagnoses. Conclusions: pMRI is a culturally accepted alternative when autopsy is not performed and can either reinforce, refute, or add to premortem clinical diagnoses.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental Biology