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Also known as a post-mortem examination, an autopsy helps to determine primary and underlying causes of death by examining the body and organs of a deceased person. Tissue and other samples may be taken during autopsy and tested by pathologists to provide further information. Findings are detailed in autopsy and associated pathology reports.

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Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Hutchins, GM; Berman, JJ; Moore, GW; Hanzlick, R; and the Autopsy Committee of the College of American Pathologists (1999) Practice Guidelines for Autopsy Pathology Autopsy Reporting. Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine; 123: 1085-92.

Tropical Medicine and International Health Le Coeur, S; Ronsmans, C; Halembokaka, G; Augereau-Vacher, C; Khlat, M (2006) Comparison of family reporting of pregnancy status with a post-mortem ß-HCG test in deceased women: a study in Pointe-Noir, Congo. Tropical Medicine and International Health; 11(4): 528-31.

Progress in Pathology, Vol 6 Millward-Sadler, GH. Pathology of maternal deaths. In: Kirkham, N; Shepherd, N (eds). Progress in Pathology, Volume 6. pp. 163-185. London: Greenwich Medical Media Ltd, 2003.

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Hoyert D. The autopsy, medicine, and mortality statistics. National Center for Health Statistics. Vital Health Stat 3(32). 2001. Centers for Disease Control

Royal College of Pathologists The Royal College of Pathologists. Guidelines on autopsy practice: best practice scenarios. Scenario 5: maternal death. 2005. London: The Royal College of Pathologists.

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