Gestational age estimation in human fetuses from histogenesis of the spleen
Background: Stages in development and maturation of various organs and tissues may help in fetal
gestational age estimation in medicolegal cases. The present study was undertaken to study the
maturation of fetal splenic tissue
Methods: 30 human fetuses of gestational age ranging from 9th to 38th weeks were used for the
study. Gestational age estimation was done by the crown rump length followed by distribution of
fetuses into five groups. Spleen was dissected out from each fetus followed by tissue processing.
Sections of 4-5Âµm were cut and stained with haematoxylin and eosin stain. All slides were
observed under low and high powers of the light microscope
Results: The red pulp was the first to develop, appearing at the 9th week, followed by the
capsule. Lobulation and trabeculae appeared during the period of 15 to 17 weeks. Lastly white
pulp developed at the 25th week.
Conclusion: The time of appearance of the various features in the developing spleen may help in
rough estimation of the gestational age from minimal fetal splenic tissue remains.