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Increased brain weight/liver weight ratio as a necropsy sign of intrauterine undernutrition
  1. John M. Anderson
  1. Department of Pathology, Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Edinburgh


    Comparison of the brain weight/liver weight ratio1 with the body weight of 95 stillborn and neonatally deceased infants of gestation 25-42 weeks shows that in appropriately grown infants the mean value ratio is 2·8 and is unchanged with increasing maturity. The normal range is 1·7-4·1. Survival time has no significant effect on the ratio as studied in this necropsy population. Dysmature infants of body weight less than 1 SD below the mean body weight for gestation are characterized by a brain: liver weight ratio of 4·5 or more. On the basis of these observations the brain: liver weight ratio may be employed as a guide to the prenatal nutrition of infants at necropsy.

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