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Placental findings in specific newborn/fetal or maternal conditions

Fetal death

Reviewers: Mandolin Ziadie, M.D. (see Reviewers page)
Revised: 13 November 2011, last major update October 2011
Copyright: (c) 2003-2011, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.


● Intrauterine fetal demise that may be due to maternal factors (diabetes, preeclampsia, infection), placental abnormalities (vasculopathy, ischemia, infarction) or fetal anomalies (chromosomal disorders, congenital anomalies, Arch Pathol Lab Med 1976;100:367)
● Chorioamnionitis, deciduitis or villitis may be present, thus warranting culture of the placenta

Gross description

● The degree of maceration of the fetus and involution of the placenta are helpful indicators for the length of intrauterine demise

Micro description

● The microscopic changes are similar to those seen in fetal thrombotic vasculopathy (FTV), but are seen diffusely throughout the placenta
● Early / recent demise (>24 48 hours) shows nuclear debris in blood vessels or villous vessels
● This is followed by vascular septation in larger vessels with sequential changes in smaller vessels and terminal villi then villous fibrosis
● Other non-specific changes include calcification / increased mineralization of the trophoblastic basement membrane

Micro images

Various images

End of Placenta > Placental findings in specific newborn/fetal or maternal conditions > Fetal death

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