Diseases of the Placenta

  • Deborah J. Gersell
  • Frederick T. Kraus
  • Maureen Burke Riffle


The placenta, unfortunately, is often ignored, not only by gynecologists and pediatricians but by pathologists as well. The evaluation of a diseased or dead fetus is really incomplete without the examination of its most accessible organ, the placenta. During intrauterine life, the mother, fetus, umbilical cord, membranes, and placenta are all components of a single system, and disease in any one part may profoundly affect the others. Opportunities for examination of the maternal component are limited, since maternal tissue is scant, consisting only of a small amount of decidua adherent to the fetal membranes or basal plate. The placenta, however, is readily available for study, and its examination may provide significant information relating to intrauterine or perinatal death, intrauterine growth retardation, malformations, infections, and the effects of maternal disease on fetal growth and development. As in any organ, appreciation of pathologic changes demands a sound knowledge of normal structure and development. Unlike more static tissues, the placenta undergoes a series of profound morphologic changes during its short life span, making an understanding of the normal somewhat more difficult.


Umbilical Cord Obstet Gynecol Placenta Accreta Intervillous Space Single Umbilical Artery 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Deborah J. Gersell
  • Frederick T. Kraus
  • Maureen Burke Riffle

There are no affiliations available

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