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Umbilical cord

Single umbilical artery

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


● Two vessel cord (usually are 3 vessels) with a single artery and a single vein (a hypoplastic artery may be present)
● Remaining artery may be a persistent vitelline artery in cases of caudal regression / synringomelia
● Diagnosed in 1% of placentas, with higher rates occurring with congenital anomalies, perinatal death and fetal growth restriction
● Also more common in maternal diabetes
● No increased risk of post-neonatal mortality

Gross description

● Evaluation of vessel number should be performed away from the disc, due to the possibility of umbilical artery anastamoses / fusion in this location
● Higher incidence of abnormal cord (velamentous) and membrane (circumvallate) insertion

Micro images

Two vessel umbilical cord

End of Placenta > Umbilical cord > Single umbilical artery

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