Placenta
Umbilical cord
Furcate insertion

Author: Paul J. Kowalski, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 28 July 2016, last major update July 2016

Copyright: (c) 2003-2016, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

PubMed Search: Umbilical cord [title] furcate insertion
Cite this page: Furcate insertion. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/placentafurcate.html. Accessed May 22nd, 2017.
Definition / general
  • The grossly visible branching of the umbilical vessels before their insertion onto the placental surface
Terminology
Pathophysiology
  • The protective substance, known as Wharton’s jelly, which covers the umbilical cord is lost at the cord’s insertion end
  • The cord displays less tubular integrity and the umbilical vessels divide or branch before reaching the placental surface
  • Umbilical vessels unsupported by Wharton’s jelly are more subject to shearing forces potentially causing rupture or hemorrhage
Etiology
  • There are no known causative factors
Clinical features
  • Usually, no clinical significance is associated with furcate insertion
  • Very rarely, fetal hemorrhage has been described
Radiology description
  • Furcate insertion can be detected on an ultrasound scan
Prognostic factors
  • Generally very good, unless the rare situation of hemorrhage from the unprotected portions of vessel occur
Case reports
Gross description
  • The umbilical vessels are seen to divide before reaching the placental surface, usually only involving the distal most 1-4 cm of the cord
  • Hemorrhage surrounding the vessels may very rarely indicate vascular rupture
Gross images

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Gross pathology of the placenta

Furcate cord insertion with thrombosis

Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Usually no significant microscopic changes are observed