Date of Award

Spring 1990

Document Type



Life & Environmental Sciences

First Advisor

John Addis

Second Advisor

Henry Burgess

Third Advisor

Guido Bugni


The purpose of this study was to further our understanding of the causes of prenatal and perinatal deaths in Montana. Prenatal and perinatal deaths are due to a number of causes which may be chromosomal or nonchromosomal. The present study showed that of the 251 specimens studied the largest category of prenatal and perinatal fatalities was due to nonchromosomal causes. This group accounted for 42% of the deaths and included idiopathic and genetic causes. Seventy-one of the 106 cases listed under the nonchromosomal category were multiple congenital anomalies. Multiple congential anomalies usually suggest chromosomal abnormalities. Genetic factors, accounted for 7% of the 106 nonchromosomal cases. These factors, however, involve heritable chromosomal transmissions. The causes of death due to chromosomal abnormalities accounted for 24% of the number of cases. Another category, termed "blighted ovum", may in fact be due to chromosomal abnormalities. Many of the specimens in this group were 46,XX but had unsuccessful karyotypic analyses. The normal findings may be misleading, because they may represent maternal cells instead of the embryonic tissue. Over 50% of the prenatal and perinatal deaths appear to have resulted from chromosomal abnormalities in this current study

Included in

Epidemiology Commons