Placental findings in specific newborn / fetal or maternal conditions
Thrombosis of fetal arteries

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

Revised: 16 October 2017, last major update November 2011

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

PubMed Search: Thrombosis of fetal arteries placenta

Cite this page: Ziadie, M. Thrombosis of fetal arteries. website. Accessed November 15th, 2018.
Definition / general
  • Thrombosis of fetal vessels results in fibrosis of downstream villi
  • Thrombi may also embolize to fetal organs, resulting in perinatal asphyxia and an increased risk of neurologic injury
  • More common in diabetic pregnancies, often associated with increased syncytial knots, fibrotic villi, Langhans cells and villous fibrinoid necrosis
Gross description
  • Triangular or hemispheric pale areas, seen better after formalin fixation or otherwise similar to remaining placenta
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Occlusive thrombi in large stem vessels accompanied by downstream changes, including loss of vascularity and fibrosis
Microscopic (histologic) images

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Avascular villi (figure 1A)