Do stillborns with no identifiable pathology have leaner cords than liveborns?

Natalie Roche, Joan Skurnick, Keleicia Brown, Debra Heller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: To evaluate whether stillbirths with no explanation found at autopsy have thinner cords than live, gestational-age-matched controls. STUDY DESIGN: Stillbirth autopsies performed at University Hospital, Newark, New Jersey, from January 1995 to October 2002 were reviewed. Cases with no explanation for the death at autopsy had their umbilical cord diameters compared to those in 3 groups of age-matched controls: stillbirths with an identifiable cause of death, liveborns with placentas submitted for pathology evaluation and liveborns from which the placentas were not submitted to pathology. Age-adjusted ANOVAs were performed for comparisons. RESULTS: Of 181 autopsies performed during the review period, 21 cases (11.6%) provided no information at autopsy that would explain or contribute to an understanding of the death. There was no significant difference in cord diameters between either group of stillbirths or the pathology-submitted controls. Third-trimester placentas from liveborns without placental submission to pathology had significantly greater cord diameters (p = 0.001). CONCLUSION: This study does not support the theory that a cord accident or decreased umbilical blood flow resulting from a leaner umbilical cord can explain a significant number of stillbirths with no other findings at autopsy. However, it supports the literature in that leaner cords appear to be associated with a wide variety of adverse perinatal conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)283-286
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Reproductive Medicine for the Obstetrician and Gynecologist
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


  • Stillbirth
  • Umbilical cord
  • Umbilical cord leanness

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Do stillborns with no identifiable pathology have leaner cords than liveborns?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this