The perinatal period is classically defined as the time immediately before and after birth. Different time cut-offs have been used but typically the perinatal period is from 28 weeks gestation to 4 weeks after birth. Many perinatal pathologists are experts in diseases throughout the gestational period and into the neonatal period.
Diagnosis is often a collaborative effort, so tissue may be taken for ancillary testing including genetics, microbiology and x-rays; and case discussions with pediatric surgeons, obstetricians, and geneticists are sometimes the most intellectually rewarding part of the job. We are also consultants to our general pathologist colleagues in the community. Because there are so few of us, we have an important role in teaching and quality assurance; a key function of SPP and this committee is to promote standardized diagnostic terminology.
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