Lung Findings in Minimally Invasive Tissue Sampling (MITS) Examinations of Fetal and Preterm Neonatal Deaths: A Report from the PURPOSe Study

Gowdar Guruprasad, Sangappa Dhaded, S. Yogesh Kumar, Manjunath S. Somannavar, Shivaprasad S. Goudar, Vardendra Kulkarni, Sunil Kumar, T. S. Nagaraj, Zeesham Uddin, Khurram Minhas, Afia Zafar, Shiyam Sunder Tikmani, Sarah Saleem, Kay Hwang, Anna Aceituno, Elizabeth M. McClure, Robert L. Goldenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Complete diagnostic autopsy (CDA) is considered to be the gold-standard procedure that aids in determination of cause of death in stillbirths and neonatal deaths. However, CDA is not routinely practiced in South Asian countries due to religious beliefs, lack of expertise, and lack of resources. Minimally invasive tissue sampling (MITS) has been recommended as a less mutilating and less expensive alternative to CDA for obtaining tissues for analysis. The present study aims to evaluate the yield of lung tissue and histological findings using MITS as part of a cause of death analysis for stillborns and preterm neonatal deaths. Methods: Data were collected during an observational multicenter prospective study called the Project to Understand and Research Preterm birth and Stillbirth (PURPOSe) conducted in India and Pakistan. After obtaining written informed consent from parents, the eligible stillbirths and neonatal deaths were subjected to MITS using a standard protocol. The tissues were obtained from both lungs for histological and microbiological analysis. Results: At both sites, a total of 453 stillbirths and 352 neonatal deaths underwent MITS. For stillbirths and neonatal deaths, the yield of lung tissue using MITS was high (92%). Intrauterine fetal distress and respiratory distress syndrome were the leading lung pathologies reported in stillbirths and neonatal deaths, respectively. Conclusions: MITS appears to be a reasonable alternative to CDA in obtaining and evaluating lung tissue to inform accurate cause of death analysis in stillbirth and preterm deaths.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S430-S434
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2021


  • India
  • Pakistan
  • autopsy
  • lung pathology
  • minimally invasive tissue sampling (MITS)


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