Inter-center variation in autopsy practices among regional neonatal intensive care units (NICUs).
OBJECTIVE: To characterize infants who underwent autopsy in regional neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) and examine inter-center variability in autopsy completion.
STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study of infants who died between 2010 and 2016 from 32 participating hospitals in the Children's Hospital Neonatal Database (CHND). Maternal/infant demographics and hospital stay data were collected, along with autopsy rates by center, year, and region. Data analysis utilized bivariate and multivariable statistics.
RESULT: Of 6299 deaths, 1742 (27.7%) completed autopsy. Infants who underwent autopsy had higher median birth weight (2 124 g vs. 1 655 g) and gestational age (34 vs. 32 weeks). No differences were seen in sex, length of stay, or primary cause of death. Marked inter-center variability was observed, with 17-fold adjusted difference (p < 0.001) in autopsy rates.
CONCLUSION: Patient characteristics do not account for variability in autopsy practices across regional NICUs. Factors such as provider practices and parental preferences should be investigated.
Journal of perinatology : official journal of the California Perinatal Association
Autopsy; Child; Gestational Age; Humans; Infant; Infant, Newborn; Infant, Very Low Birth Weight; Intensive Care Units, Neonatal; Retrospective Studies
Autopsy; Gestational Age; Very Low Birth Weight Infant; Neonatal Intensive Care Units; Retrospective Studies
Datta A, Niehaus JZ, Weiner J, et al. Inter-center variation in autopsy practices among regional neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). J Perinatol. 2021;41(12):2820-2825. doi:10.1038/s41372-021-01286-1