Postmortem Body and Organ Measurements in Neonates and Infants: A Review of Reference Resources Used by Ontario Pathologists (Part 1)

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Abstract

It is common practice in pediatric autopsies to compare the body and organ measurements of the deceased child against the existing reference data. Although a number of resources are available, many are outdated and have significant limitations. The goal of this study was to assess the reference sources currently used by the Ontario pathologists in pediatric autopsies. A survey of 14 Ontario pathologists, who do coroners' pediatric autopsies, identified 20 publications commonly referenced for body and organ measurements. Of all the cited sources, only a few had all the features regarded by the pathologists as ideal for a reference source. These features included accessibility to the source, large sample size, defined control populations, statistical analyses, and sex distinctions. The results of this study will be used to guide the development of a new reference, based on Ontario data, that will enhance measurement standards in pediatric autopsy practice.

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