Template:Brain - autopsy gross processing

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Author: Mikael Häggström [note 1]

  • Weight the brain. Overall normal range (95% prediction interval) is 1100 to 1700 g,[1] +60g for males and -60g for females.[2]
  • Inspect: Grooves indicating herniation? Hemorrhages?
  • Dissect the basilar artery and circle of Willis, either before or after separation from the brain. [[If there is likely a need to demonstrate the case to an additional person later, the arteries of the skull base are preferably dissected after first separating them from the brain.]] Look mainly for thromboses.
  • Separate the brainstem, cerebellum and cerebrum, which may be done by first separating the former two together from the cerebrum.
Normal brain versus in Alzheimer's disease.
  • Slice each part, looking for hemorrhages and/or infarcts.
  • For the cerebrum, cut it into slices about 1 cm thick. It can be done from frontal to occipital, or by starting coronally into two halves at the level of the mammillary bodies and continuing in each direction from there.
  • At least in people aged over 65-75 years of age {{or with suggestive history}}, look for signs of Alzhemier's disease (see picture).


  1. For a full list of contributors, see article history. Creators of images are attributed at the image description pages, seen by clicking on the images. See Patholines:Authorship for details.

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  1. Govender, S; Lazarus, L; De-Gama, B. Z; Satyapal, K. S (2018). "Post-Mortem Brain Weight Reference Range for a Select South African Population ". International Journal of Morphology 36 (3): 915–920. doi:10.4067/S0717-95022018000300915. ISSN 0717-9502. 
  2. Kelley Hays; David S. (1998). Reader in Gender archaeology . Routlegde. ISBN 9780415173605. Retrieved on 2014-09-21. 

Image sources