Fetal death in utero

Fetal death in utero (FDIU), also known as intrauterine death (IUD), is the term used when the death of a fetus occurs after the 20th week of pregnancy. Prior to this, it is considered a miscarriage.

IUD is often also used as an abbreviation for an intrauterine contraceptive device. However, this shortening is disliked by some specialists in view of its use as an abbreviation for intrauterine death. Therefore for many the preferred abbreviation for an intrauterine contraceptive device is IUCD. 

The spelling fetus and fetal are the preferred spellings in the medical world, regardless of location. They are used by virtually all biomedical journals. Therefore they are also the preferred spelling on Radiopaedia and we never use the spelling foetus or foetal 3.
See fetus vs foetus article for more detail.

1% of normal, uncomplicated pregnancies end in fetal death. In ~15% of fetal death in utero, no cause is identified.

Ultrasound - obstetric

Article information

rID: 4877
System: Obstetrics
Section: Gamuts
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Foetal demise
  • Fetal death in utero
  • Intrauterine foetal death (IUFD)
  • Foetal death in utero
  • Intrauterine deaths (IUDs)
  • Intrauterine death (IUD)
  • Fetal demise
  • Demise of fetus
  • Intrauterine fetal demise
  • IUFD
  • Intrauterine fetal death (IUFD)

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Cases and figures

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  • Case 2: with Robert sign
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