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Umbilical cord

Marked segmental thinning

Reviewer: Mandolin Ziadie, M.D. (see Reviewers page)
Revised: 23 November 2011, last major update November 2011
Copyright: (c) 2003-2011, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.


● Focal segmental thinning due to an absence of the tunica media vasorum in at least one vessel, most commonly the umbilical vein (normal umbilical cord diameter is 12 cm)
● Rare (1.5% in one study, see below)
● Associated with severe congenital anomalies (anencephaly, genitourinary anomalies), complications (meconium-stained amniotic fluid, variable decelerations during labor, twinning or nuchal cord, Arch Pathol Lab Med 1994;118:826)

Micro description

● Absence of tunica media vasorum in at least one cord level
● Usually involves < 30% of vessel circumference
● Vein is affected in 76% of cases; 1-2 arteries in 24%
● Similar changes in stem vessels of placenta

End of Placenta > Umbilical cord > Marked segmental thinning

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