Fetal death in utero
Citation, DOI & article data
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.
- gestational hypertension
- blood group incompatibility
- metabolic disorders
- intrauterine infections
Placental pathologies are thought represent the largest category of cause of intrauterine death 4.
- absent fetal heartbeat
- absent fetal movements
- occasional findings
- uncommon findings
- thrombus in fetal heart
- gas shadow in fetal heart (Robert sign)
- 1. Weissleder R, Wittenberg J, Harisinghani MG. Primer of diagnostic imaging. Mosby Inc. (2003) ISBN:0323023282. Read it at Google Books - Find it at Amazon
- 2. Merz E. Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Volume 1 Obstetrics. Thieme. (2011) ISBN:3131614722. Read it at Google Books - Find it at Amazon
- 3. Henry Watson Fowler, Jeremy Butterfield. Fowler's Dictionary of Modern English Usage. (2019) ISBN: 9780199661350
- 4. Man J, Hutchinson J, Heazell A, Ashworth M, Jeffrey I, Sebire N. Stillbirth and Intrauterine Fetal Death: Role of Routine Histopathological Placental Findings to Determine Cause of Death. Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol. 2016;48(5):579-84. doi:10.1002/uog.16019 - Pubmed