Reviewers: Mandolin Ziadie, M.D. (see Reviewers page)
Revised: 29 November 2011, last major update November 2011
Copyright: (c) 2003-2011, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.
● Twisted “cable” that connects the fetus to the placenta and carries the two umbilical arteries and a single umbilical vein
● 2 arteries often merge near end of cord
● Vessels branch out over the fetal surface to form the villous tree
● Average size: 55–60 cm length and 2.0–2.5 cm diameter
● Insertion is normally central by mid-gestation, but may become more eccentric as gestation proceeds
● Umbilical arteries: double layered muscular wall, no internal elastic lamina
● Umbilical vein: larger diameter, thin wall with single layer of disorganized circular smooth muscle and an internal elastic lamina; no intima
Normal 3 vessel cord
End of Placenta > Umbilical cord > Normal
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