• Kurt Benirschke
  • Peter Kaufmann


Pathologists rarely obtain a postpartum uterus for detailed study of involutional changes that take place at the former site of implantation. Therefore involution of the normal placental site has been studied by only a few investigators. Normally, the postpartum lochia contain the decidual remnants, including perhaps the remains of the vasculature that had previously undergone the “physiological changes” of pregnancy. Only when significant postpartum hemorrhage occurs and hysterectomy becomes necessary is the pathologist asked to seek the cause of the bleeding. He or she may then find remains of villi, incompletely thrombosed vessels, “placental polyps,” and inflammatory reaction. These areas are difficult to study objectively, because most pathologists have no experience with the normal, complex process of placental site involution. Williams (1931), in a classical paper, attempted to rectify this situation.


Placental Tissue Postpartum Hemorrhage Implantation Site Placenta Accretas Puerperal Fever 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kurt Benirschke
    • 1
    • 2
  • Peter Kaufmann
    • 3
  1. 1.Pathology and Reproductive MedicineUniversity of CaliforniaSan DiegoUSA
  2. 2.University Medical CenterSan DiegoUSA
  3. 3.Institut für Anatomie der Medizinischen Fakultät, Rheinisch-Westfälische TechnischeHochschule AachenAachenGermany

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