Evaluation of stillbirth

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid


Purpose of review

To review current evidence regarding the most useful tests for evaluation of potential causes of stillbirth.

Recent findings

Stillbirth remains one of the most devastating obstetric complications. Recent advances include work investigating the highest yield diagnostic tests for determining a cause of death in stillbirths. Placental pathology and fetal autopsy improve the diagnostic yield when combined with maternal clinical history. Additional tools include genetic evaluation, and testing for antiphospholipid antibodies and fetal–maternal hemorrhage based on the clinical scenario. However, routine testing for heritable thrombophilias or infection has not proven to be useful. In cases in which fetal autopsy is not acceptable to patients or possible for logistical reasons, alternative forms of fetal evaluation should be considered.


A systematic approach to stillbirth evaluation is useful in identifying a potential cause of death. This should incorporate clinical information as well as placental pathology and fetal autopsy. Based on clinical characteristics further testing may be indicated.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles