Placental Types

  • Kurt Benirschke
  • Peter Kaufmann


Throughout pregnancy the viviparous vertebrates develop a system of membranes that surround the fetus. The apposition or fusion of these fetal membranes with the uterine mucosa, for purposes of maternofetal physiological exchange, initiates the formation of the placenta. To put it differently, the fetus is surrounded by the fetal membranes, to which it is connected by the umbilical cord (Figure 1). The sac of membranes lies in the uterine cavity and has contact with the endometrium over almost its entire surface. The maternofetal contact zone, provided by membranes and endometrium, is the placenta.


Human Placenta Maternal Blood Fetal Membrane Placental Barrier Placental Villus 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kurt Benirschke
    • 1
  • Peter Kaufmann
    • 2
  1. 1.University Medical CenterUniversity of California, San DiegoSan DiegoUSA
  2. 2.Institut für Anatomie der Medizinischen FakultätRheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule AachenAachenGermany

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