Early Development of the Human Placenta

  • Kurt Benirschke
  • Peter Kaufmann


For many years, understanding placental pathology was thought to demand only a limited knowledge of implantation and early placental development, because disturbances of these early steps of placentation seemed to cause abortion rather than affecting placental structure and function. Increasing experience with assisted fertilization, however, has taught us that a high percentage of these cases show impaired fetal and neonatal outcome such as an increased incidence of intrauterine growth retardation and retroplacental hematoma, as well as increased perinatal mortality (Beck & Heywinkel, 1990). The causal connections are still unknown, although the authors give some arguments that placental causes must be considered. It must be speculated that improper conditions during implantation handicap early development and finally result in the inappropriate functioning of the fetoplacental unit.


Basal Lamina Human Placenta Apical Plasma Membrane Uterine Epithelium Carnegie Inst 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2000

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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