Macroscopic Features of the Delivered Placenta

  • Kurt Benirschke
  • Peter Kaufmann


The full-term, delivered placenta in more than 90% of the cases is a disk-like, flat, round to oval organ. In nearly 10% it has an abnormal shape, such as placenta bilobata, placenta duplex, placenta succenturiata, placenta zonaria, or placenta membranacea (Torpin, 1969). The average diameter is 22 cm, the average thickness in the center of the delivered organ is 2.5 cm, and the average weight is 470 g (Table 2, p. 42). The respective measurements show considerable interindividual variation and strongly depend on such factors as mode of birth, time of cord clamping (Table 9, p. 46), and time elapsed between delivery and fixation.


Human Placenta Villous Tree Intervillous Space Human Placental Lactogen Chorionic Plate 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Becker, V.: Plazenta. In, Pathologie der Plazenta und des Abortes. V. Becker and G. Röckelein, eds., pp. 1-155. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1989.Google Scholar
  2. Boyd, J.D., and Hamilton, W.J.: The Human Placenta. Heifer & Sons, Cambridge, 1970.Google Scholar
  3. Kaufmann, P.: Basic morphology of the fetal and maternal circuits in the human placenta. Contrib. Gynecol. Obstet. 13: 5 - 17, 1985.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Kaufmann, P., and Schellen, I.: Placental development. In, Neonatal and Fetal Medicine—Physiology and Pathophysiology, Vol. 1. R. Polin and W. Fox, eds., pp. 47-55. Saunders, Orlando, FL, 1992.Google Scholar
  5. Schuhmann, R.: Plazenton: Begriff, Entstehung, funktionelle Anatomie. In, Die Plazenta des Menschen. V. Becker, T.H. Schiebler, and F. Kubli, eds., pp. 199-207. Thieme Verlag, Stuttgart, 1981.Google Scholar
  6. Schultze, B.S.: Über velamentöse und placentale Insertion der Nabelschnur. Arch. Gynecol. 30: 47 - 56, 1887.Google Scholar
  7. Torpin, R.: The Human Placenta. Charles C Thomas, Springfield, IL, 1969.Google Scholar
  8. Wentworth, P.: Some anomalies of the foetal vessels of the human placenta. J. Anat. 99: 273 - 282, 1965.PubMedGoogle Scholar

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

Personalised recommendations