Umbilical Cord and Major Fetal Vessels

  • Kurt Benirschke
  • Peter Kaufmann


The development of the umbilical cord is closely related to that of the amnion (see Chapter 7). Throughout the last days of the 2nd week p.c. the blastocystic cavity is filled by a loose meshwork of mesoderm cells, the extraembryonic mesoblast, which surrounds the embryoblast (Figure 115). The embryoblast is composed of two vesicles: the amnionic vesicle and the primary yolk sac. Where these two vesicles are in contact with each other, they form the double-layered embryonic disk. During the following days the extraembryonic mesoderm cells are rearranged in such a way that they line the inner surface of the trophoblastic shell, as chorionic mesoderm. They also cover the surface of the two embryonic vesicles (Figure 115). Between the two mesoderm layers the exocoelomic cavity forms. It largely separates the embryo and its mesodermal cover from the chorionic mesoderm. The exocoelom is bridged by the mesoderm in only one place, which lies basal to the amnionic vesicle.


Umbilical Cord Umbilical Artery Human Umbilical Cord Umbilical Vessel Single Umbilical Artery 
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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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