• Clinical significance of embryonic examination;
  • cytogenetic examination;
  • morphological examination;
  • multiple pregnancy loss

PROBLEM: In families with a history of multiple pregnancy losses, the prognosis of future pregnancies is critically dependent on recognizing an accurate pathogenesis of pregnancy loss.

METHOD OF STUDY: Morphological and genetic evaluation of products of conception provides necessary information for clinicians. Modern molecular cytogenetic techniques such as in situ hybridization and comparative genomic hybridization allow cytogenetic diagnosis even when aborted tissues are nonviable.

RESULTS: Correlation of morphological and cytogenetic findings allows distinction between developmental defects associated with chromosomal syndromes and other pathogenesis such as environmental teratogens, and Mendalian or multifactorial inheritance.

CONCLUSION: Pathologists have the responsibility of ensuring that the answers to questions, such as why the failure occurred or whether there is any increased chance of having an abnormal liveborn infant in a future pregnancy, are obtained and that the information is communicated to the parent's obstetrician, geneticist, and family physician.