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The Placenta and Umbilical Cord

  • T. Yee KhongEmail author

Abstract

The placenta and extraplacental membranes are an apposition of fetal and maternal tissues for the purposes of physiological exchange. Its examination is imperative in cases of fetal and neonatal deaths, of sick and premature neonates, and of some maternal complications of pregnancy and has assumed an important role in obstetric litigation, commonly when there is perinatal death, fetal distress, or alleged cerebral hypoxia.

A systematic topographical approach to its examination is often productive. This chapter provides a description of the development of the placenta and of macroscopic and microscopic findings. Findings can be arbitrarily classified as being maternal vascular, intervillous vascular, fetal vascular, inflammation, and parenchymal disorders. These findings are contextual and clinical correlation is important before significance is ascribed to any findings. Similarly, the clinical context may provide clues to look for lesions that cluster with some clinical conditions. The clinicopathological correlation of common pathological and clinical scenarios is presented.

Keywords

Maternal disease Fetal abnormalities Intrauterine death Clinicopathological correlation Development Uteroplacental vascular disease Fetal vasculopathy Placental inflammation Villitis 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pathology, Department of Obstetrics and GynaecologyUniversity of AdelaideNorth AdelaideAustralia
  2. 2.Department of HistopathologyWomen’s & Children’s HospitalNorth AdelaideAustralia

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