Villous Development and the Pathogenesis of IUGR

  • Gaby Kohnen
  • John Kingdom


Successful human pregnancy depends upon a coordinated series of events in developmental biology - not only of the embryo, but also of the placenta. The initial events in placentation involve the formation of a spheroidal trophoblastic shell that functions as a barrier to the diffusion of oxygen during embryogenesis until the end of the first trimester (see Chs 6,12 and [1]). By contrast the embryonic placental circulation perfuses the placental villi from 7 postmenstrual weeks of gestation. Diffusion of oxygen to the embryo appears less important in these circumstances, which is in marked contrast to the situation in the third trimester when adequate oxygen transfer to the fetus depends on well-developed uteroplacental and fetoplacental vascular beds. This chapter describes the development of placental villi during normal pregnancy, leading to a discussion of the evidence supporting the concept of villous maldevelopment in IUGR. For more detailed discussion of this topic the reader is referred to one of the following specialised texts [2–4].


Umbilical Artery Intrauterine Growth Restriction Placental Villus Villous Tree Intervillous Space 
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© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gaby Kohnen
  • John Kingdom

There are no affiliations available

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