Post-Mortem Analysis of Structural Heart Defects in Fetuses and Children by Magnetic Resonance Imaging: An Alternative to Autopsy?
Malformations of the heart are the most complex and common human congenital anomalies. Knowledge gained by autopsy has been essential for understanding congenital heart defects and for devising and perfecting surgical and interventional treatments1. New defects continue to be uncovered even in the current era2. Most often the basis of our knowledge of heart defects is careful examination of the gross specimen. Microscopic examination of the heart can be important as well for ascertaining patterns and mechanisms of injury resulting from the natural history of heart defects or their treatment, or from inflammatory diseases (myocarditis) or in-born errors of metabolism (storage diseases).
- Received March 16, 2014.
- Accepted March 17, 2014.