Placental findings in specific newborn / fetal or maternal conditions
Ectopic pregnancy

Author: Mandolin Ziadie, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 16 October 2017, last major update October 2011

Copyright: (c) 2002-2017,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Ectopic pregnancy [title] placenta

Cite this page: Ziadie, M. Ectopic pregnancy. website. Accessed November 18th, 2018.
Definition / general
  • Implantation of the embryo outside of the uterine cavity including within the tubes (90%), abdomen and the cornua of the uterus
  • Occurs in 1/150 pregnancies
  • Tubal pregnancies are the most common cause of hematosalpinx due to rupture which is a medical emergency and diagnosed with ultrasound, serum hCG and laparoscopy
  • Bleeding is sometimes due to placental separation without rupture
  • 50% are associated with pelvic inflammatory disease or peritubal adhesions (due to appendicitis, endometriosis, surgery and leiomyomas)
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Though not extensively studied, reports indicate a high prevalence of placenta accreta and percreta, to which tubal rupture is attributed
  • Placentas from abdominal pregnancies have been described as highly vascular with markedly diminished / absent decidua