The stillbirth collaborative research network neuropathologic examination protocol

Halit Pinar, Matthew A. Koch, Hal Hawkins, Josefine Heim-Hall, Bahig Shehata, Vanessa R. Thorsten, Steven Chin, Marian Willinger, Suzanne Dela Monte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


We describe the neuropathologic procedure utilized in the Stillbirth Collaborative Research Network (SCRN), focusing on the examination of central nervous system (CNS) in stillbirth (SB). The SCRN was organized to perform a case-control study to determine the scope and causes of SB. Pathologists at all the participating centers agreed on and used the same standardized neuropathologic techniques. Standardized sections were taken and detailed data were collected. Fresh brain tissue was saved for investigative purposes. A total of 663 women with SB were enrolled into the case-control study: 620 delivered a single stillborn, 42 delivered twins, and 1 delivered triplets. Of the 560 (84.5%) who consented to postmortem examination, 465 (70.1%) also gave consent to the examination of the CNS. In the 440 stillborn infants in whom CNS examination was possible, 248 (56.4%) of the brains were intact, 72 were fragmented (16.4%), and 120 (27.3%) were liquefied. In summary, this is the largest prospective study dedicated to investigate the causes of SB and collect essential information and biological samples in the United States. A protocol for neuropathologic examination was instituted, and a brain tissue repository was created to provide samples and related data for future investigations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)793-802
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Perinatology
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2011


  • SCRN
  • central nervous system
  • neuropathology
  • stillbirth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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