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Unlocking the genetic mysteries behind stillbirth
Date:12/6/2012

the Stillbirth Network.

The researchers compared the results of karyotypes from more than 500 stillbirths to results from microarray analysis, a method that detects small segments of missing parts of chromosomes (deletions) or additional sections of genetic material (duplications) that cannot be seen by karyotyping.

They analyzed samples from all stillbirths in a population-based study in five U.S. areas, covered by 59 hospitals over a period of two and a half years. Shortly after each stillbirth, parents gave research staff permission to collect blood from the umbilical cord and tissue from the fetus and the placenta.

The UTMB research team's goal was to reach the parents of 90 percent of all stillborn babies to residents of Galveston and Brazoria counties during the time period of the study. To achieve this, they formed partnerships with 11 hospitals in the region and developed a methodology whereby stillbirths were reported immediately to UTMB if the stillborn child's parents granted permission. Upon notification, UTMB sent staff members to the hospital to meet with the bereaved families.

If the families agreed to take part in the study, UTMB staff members then worked with the participating hospitals to transport the babies to Galveston for genetic testing and/or autopsy before arranging with funeral homes for the babies' final transport. About 100 stillbirths occurred in the Galveston/Brazoria county region during the two and a half years the study took place.

"It's really something, that families in such a tough situation, with all the shock and sadness they must be feeling upon the loss of their baby, would be willing to work with us to conduct this important stillbirth research," said Saade.

The hospitals included in the UTMB arm of the study were Angleton Danbury Medical Center, Brazosport Memorial Hospital, Clear Lake Regional Medical Center, Memorial Hermann Hospital, Mainland Medical Center, Methodist H
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Contact: Molly Dannenmaier
mjdannen@utmb.edu
409-771-5105
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
Source:Eurekalert

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