Fetal death

Last updated: Tuesday, 30, November, 2010
CausesAppropriate Tests

In all cases, a detailed autopsy should be performed, including examination of the placenta.

Some causes may be recurrent; future reproductive management should be guided by the autopsy findings.

Intrauterine infection, including

Chromosome abnormalities, especially

  • Turner syndrome
  • Triploidy

Cytogenetics (prenatal and fetal)

Intrauterine growth retardation, including

  • Placental insufficiency


See Phospholipid antibody syndrome.

Multiple gestation, especially

  • Twin-twin transfusion syndrome
  • Cord entanglement

Fetomaternal haemorrhage

Haemoglobin F - Kleihauer test.

Fetal haemolysis, including;


Molecular genetics - individual genetic disorders (Thalassaemia) See also Hydrops fetalis

Fetal malformations

Haemangioma of cord or placenta

Amniotic bands

Maternal Diabetes mellitus

ReferenceFretts, R.C. Etiology and prevention of stillbirth (Review) American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (2005) 193, 1923-35