Placental gross / microscopic abnormalities, nonneoplastic
Placental edema (placental hydrops)

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

Revised: 13 October 2017, last major update October 2011

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

PubMed Search: Placenta edema hydrops[title] "loattrfull text"[sb]

Cite this page: Ziadie, M. Placental edema (placental hydrops). website. Accessed July 16th, 2018.
Definition / general
  • Accumulation of fluid in the placenta and umbilical cord
  • Results from a variety of fetal or maternal factors, including erythroblastosis fetalis, hemolytic disease of the newborn, infection, cardiac anomalies, fetal anemia, hemorrhage, congenital anomalies, chromosomal disorders or tumors
Gross description
  • Placenta is enlarged and pale when edema is marked
  • Placental weight may be greater than expected for gestational age
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Enlarged villi with edematous stroma and increased numbers of Hofbauer cells (macrophages)
  • Underlying cause of edema may be diagnosed based on other histologic findings