Pathology of Maternal Floor Infarction

  • Kurt Benirschke
  • Peter Kaufmann


In “maternal floor infarction” (MFI), the floor of the placenta is thickened, stiffened, and often yellow. The maternal surface has a corrugated appearance, and the placental septa are prominent (Figure 274). Often the lesion is associated with excessive X-cell proliferation and cyst formation (Figure 275). Frequently, but not always, there is a massive “net-like” fibrin deposition throughout the placental tissue, occasionally referred to as Gitterinfarkt or Netzinfarkt in the German literature (Figures 276 and 277) (Becker, 1981). The same features occur also in association with “villitis of unknown etiology” (VUE) (see Chapter 24). The placenta in MFI is often small and firm, and no other major pathological lesions exist when it is sectioned. MFI is not associated with abruption, but fetal growth retardation is often a sequela. Most importantly, the condition may lead to fetal death, and it recurs frequently in subsequent pregnancies.


Maternal Serum Fibrin Deposition Major Basic Protein Fetal Growth Retardation Placental Insufficiency 
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© 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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